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State Minister Nishime Attends the 24th Meeting of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting

Mr. Nishime, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, from May 23 to May 27 and attended the 24th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting.

At Port Moresby, he attended the APEC ministerial meeting. He also held bilateral meetings with the Hon. Mr. Rimbink Pato, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (chair of the APEC ministerial meeting), Mr. Jeffrey D. Gerrish, Deputy United States Trade Representative, and economic delegates of other countries, and confirmed their commitment to mutual cooperation for the success of the APEC ministerial meeting.

1. 24th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting

Under the initiative of the Hon. Mr. Rimbink Pato, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, who chaired the meeting, active discussions were held mainly on such themes as support for the multilateral trading system, promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth through digital agenda, deepening of regional economic integration and connectivity, and approaches toward the post-2020 vision for APEC.

State Minister Nishime made the following proposals and presentations and obtained support from many participating countries.

(1) State Minister Nishime's major statements concerning support for the multilateral trading system

  • A rule-based multilateral trading system is indispensable. While ensuring the sufficient functioning of the system, all nations should implement their trade measures in compliance with the WTO rules.
  • Any unilateral trade measures and countermeasures that do not conform with the WTO rules pose significant risks to the multilateral trading system and the global economy.
  • The WTO should proactively take actions against market-distorting measures. Inadequate rules should be updated and strengthened and the overall functions of the WTO should be enhanced.
  • The formulation of rules in the field of e-commerce represents a new rule formulation model for the WTO.
  • APEC member countries are expected to cooperate with each other to strengthen the capabilities of the WTO.

(2) State Minister Nishime's major statements concerning the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth through digital agenda

  • We should promote the development of a free, open and fair market environment in cyberspace and data utilization under such an environment and facilitate a free data-distribution model that does not hinder business activities.
  • Japan has implemented studies on businesses that fully utilize data and has presented an action plan for promoting digital trade and e-commerce, aiming to contribute to the achievement of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
  • Japan supports the initiatives to identify building blocks for promoting digital trade and will continue its efforts for the dissemination of the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system.
  • Japan advocates the concept of connected industries, which aims to connect machines, technologies, people and other elements across organizations and borders via data, thereby creating new added value and solving societal problems, and has introduced it during the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and other APEC meetings.
  • Through these activities, Japan will contribute to formulating international rules on data utilization and digital trade. APEC initiatives should be accelerated in collaboration with industry to achieve steady outcomes.

 (3) State Minister's major statements concerning the deepening of regional economic integration and connectivity

  • It is necessary to clearly express our commitment to promote free trade to counter protectionism.
  • With the awareness that a fair competitive base is indispensable for free trade, we must correct market-distorting measures to ensure a level playing field.
  • High-quality, free and fair rules should be created. Japan will hold the Intersessional Ministerial Meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Tokyo on July 1 with the aim of facilitating the early conclusion of a high-quality agreement, in addition to achieving the early effectuation of TPP 11.
  • FTAAP should be expanded in broader areas including next-generation trade and investment issues in order to make it more sophisticated and inclusive.
  • We should enhance the content of the APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment and endeavor to complete the guidelines for the water sector ahead of the APEC Summit in November this year.
  • Each APEC member country should proceed with the review of infrastructure-related legal systems and capacity-building. We welcome the completion of the capacity building project in the Philippines and the review project in Vietnam and the new participation of Indonesia in a review project.

 (4) State Minister Nishime's major statements concerning approaches toward the post-2020 vision for APEC

  • We welcome the first meeting of the APEC Vision Group. High-level officials, jointly with the Vision Group, are expected to present an ambitious draft of the post-2020 vision to ministers and leaders.
  • The core purpose of APEC is economic growth through open trade and investment. APEC should continue to further pursue liberalization of trade and investment under an ambitious vision in 2020 onward, from that fundamental perspective.
  • In order to pursue liberalization, market-distorting measures need to be corrected to ensure a level playing field.
  • APEC is expected to serve as an incubator for tackling next-generation issues including digital trade, for cultivating new ideas and making them a reality.

2. Bilateral meetings

State Minister Nishime held bilateral meetings with The Hon. Mr. Rimbink Pato, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (chair of the meeting), Mr. Jeffrey D. Gerrish, Deputy United States Trade Representative, and economic delegates from other countries, and confirmed their commitment to mutual cooperation for the success of the APEC ministerial meeting.

Release date

May 28, 2018

Division in Charge

APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau

Related website

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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