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METI Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hoshino Visits Switzerland

From January 23 through 24, 2016, Mr. Tsuyoshi Hoshino, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Davos, Switzerland to attend the Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering hosted by Switzerland.

1. Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering

The Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering was held with participants from 22 members including Japan, the U.S., the EU, Australia, and Canada. The participants discussed approaches to advancing WTO negotiations after the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC10) in December 2015. Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hoshino, Mr. Hidemichi Sato, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Mr. Masakazu Hamachi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the meeting as representatives of Japan.

The discussion focused on the following matters. It was a great achievement that agreements in the fields of export competition in agriculture and the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) were completed at MC10. The participants agreed on the significance of discussions on new issues and new approaches as well as the importance of implementing the decisions taken at MC9 and MC10.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hoshino emphasized the following two points, which garnered wide support from the participants.

  • The successful conclusion of the ITA expansion negotiations is proof that plurilateral negotiation, where willing WTO members move forward in liberalization in a certain sector, is one of the most effective approaches to achieve concrete results, and we should actively utilize plurilateral negotiations as negotiating method.
  • Based on changes in the economic structure including the increase in electronic commerce and the development of Global Value Chains (GVC), we need to seriously consider how the WTO can tackle issues in new areas so that the WTO can effectively respond to the ever-changing needs of industry with an increasingly global reach, and remain relevant.

Group photograph of attending ministers and officials

2. Exchanging opinions with attending ministers and other officials

Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hoshino exchanged opinions with Mr, Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of the WTO, as well as Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative; Ms. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade; Mr. Shouwen Wang, Vice Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China; Mr. Tae-Hee Woo, Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea; Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya; Ambassador Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs of Switzerland; Mr. Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment of Australia; Mr. Gregory So Kam-leung, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, China; Ms. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade of Canada; Mr. Winichai Chaemchaeng, Vice Minister of Commerce of Thailand; and Dr. Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa, among the ministers and other officials who attended the above gathering.

Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative

Ms. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade

Mr. Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment, Australia

Ms. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, Canada

Release date

January 26, 2016

Division in charge

Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau

Related Information

Regional Affairs / Switzerland

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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