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METI State Minister Suzuki Visited China

From July 8 (Fri.) to July 10 (Sun.), 2016, Mr. Junji Suzuki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited China to attend a G20 Trade Ministers Meeting and a ministerial meeting of the ten WTO Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) Negotiations members. In addition, he held meetings with trade ministers and officials of participating countries.

1. G20 Trade Ministers Meeting

On July 9 (Sat.) and July 10 (Sun.), 2016, State Minister Suzuki attended the fourth G20 Trade Ministers Meeting. At the meeting, participants discussed the following subjects: strengthening the G20 trade and investment mechanism; supporting the multilateral trading system; promoting global investment policy cooperation and coordination; and promoting inclusive and coordinated global value chains. As outcomes of the discussion, they adopted a statement and annexes describing the strategy for global trade growth, guiding principles for global investment policymaking, and other issues.

Major outcomes of the meeting

  1. Rollback of protectionist measures
    • The member countries should recognize the downside risks of the global economy and further work towards trade liberalization to address the global trade slowdown.
    • Trade and investment should continue to be important engines of global economic growth and development.
    • The member countries resolved to step up their efforts to better communicate the benefits of trade and investment openness and cooperation to a wider public.
    • They should recommit to their existing pledge for both standstill and rollback of protectionist measures.
  2. Investment principles
    • With the objective of fostering an open and transparent global policy environment for investment, the member countries endorsed the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking.
  3. Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
    • The member countries will commit to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by the end of this year.

In addition, concerning the issues on excess capacity in some industries and the WTO EGA negotiations, which were also significant issues discussed at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit meeting, the following consensus was included in the statement.

  1. Issues on excess capacity in some industries
    • The member countries recognize that excess capacity in steel and other industries is a global issue which requires collective responses.
    • They also recognize that subsidies and other types of support from governments or government-sponsored institutions can cause market distortions and contribute to global excess capacity.
    • They commit to take effective steps to address the challenges so as to enhance market function.
    • The G20 steelmaking economies will participate in the global community’s actions, including participation in the OECD Steel Committee meeting scheduled for September 2016 and discussion of the feasibility of forming a Global Forum.
  2. EGA
    • The G20 WTO EGA Negotiations member countries aim to conclude an ambitious EGA that seeks to eliminate tariffs on a broad range of environmental goods in an EGA Ministerial meeting to be held by the end of 2016, having achieved a landing zone by the G-20 Summit in September in Hangzhou.

2. Ministerial meeting of the ten WTO EGA Negotiations members

The ten ministers of the WTO EGA member countries, namely, Japan, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, China, Turkey, and Singapore, and H.E. Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), held a meeting. At the meeting, participants agreed that they should take ambitious steps to abolish tariffs, confirmed the progress made in the past negotiations, and discussed future approaches, aiming to conclude the negotiations before the G20 Hangzhou Summit meeting in September 2016.

3. Meetings with trade ministers and officials of participating countries

State Minister Suzuki held meetings with H.E. Mr. Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister, Ministry of Commerce, China, H.E. Mr. Francisco Cabrera, Minister of Production and Development, Argentina, H.E. Mr. Thomas Trikasih Lembong, Minister of Trade, Indonesia, and H.E. Lord Mark Ian Price, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the United Kingdom.

1) H.E. Mr. Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister, Ministry of Commerce, China

State Minister Suzuki held discussions with Vice Minister Wang concerning the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting Statement.

2) H.E. Mr. Francisco Cabrera, Minister of Production and Development, Argentina

State Minister Suzuki held discussions with Minister Cabrera, and both sides agreed that they will materialize their efforts in 2016 by obtaining specific results through activities, such as the Japan-Argentina Summit meeting in April, Vice President Michett’s visit to Japan and holding a Japan-Argentina public-private economy forum in May, and a JETRO mission dispatched to Argentina in July.

3) Meeting with H.E. Mr. Thomas Trikasih Lembong, Minister of Trade, Indonesia

At the exchange of views with Minister Thomas, State Minister Suzuki stated that both sides should promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in order to avoid rolling back the free trade system, and also stated that they should aim to achieve the high-level RCEP. In addition, they discussed some agendas concerning the bilateral relationship.

4) Meeting with H.E. Lord Mark Ian Price, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the U.K.

State Minister Suzuki held discussions with Minister Price concerning maintaining the business environments surrounding Japanese companies developing business in the U.K., as well as maintaining the relationship between Japan and the U.K.

Reference

Release date

July 11, 2016

Divisions in Charge

  • Information on the G20 Trade Ministers meeting
    • International Economic Affairs Division, Trade Policy Bureau
    • Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau
  • Information on the ministerial meeting of the ten WTO EGA Negotiations members
    • Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau

Related Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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