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METI State Minister Matsumura Visits the Federal Republic of Germany

From April 5 to 8, 2017, Mr. Yoshifumi Matsumura, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Dusseldorf, the Federal Republic of Germany, to attend the G20 Digital Ministers Meeting.

At the meeting, participants held discussions on the promotion of data utilization, development of IT industries, introduction of digitalization into SMEs, and other issues and they finally adopted a ministerial declaration and annex.

In addition, State Minister Matsumura held meetings with H.E. Mr. Andrus Ansip, vice president, European Commission (EC), and with H.E. Ms. Hannelore Kraft, minister-president, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, and exchanged views on promoting the free flow of information and revitalizing SMEs.

1. G20 Digital Ministers Meeting (April 6 and 7)

On April 6 and 7, 2017, the G20 Digital Ministers Meeting, the first G20 meeting in this field, was held in Dusseldorf, Germany, bringing together representatives from 24 countries and regions, including Japan, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, China, Russia and other invited countries, and officials from the secretariats of international organizations, including the OECD and APEC. At the meeting, under the chairmanship of H.E. Ms. Brigitte Zypries, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany, participants held discussions concerning the importance of the digital economy, economic growth and employment creation through digitalization, the importance of the free flow of information, and other issues, and finally adopted a ministerial declaration and annexes.

At the meeting, State Minister Matsumura proactively stated the importance of support for SMEs, the support for human resources development in the field of IT, and the importance of data utilization and flow, bearing in mind the advancement of digitalization.

The adopted ministerial declaration and annexes state that the very utilization of information and data itself forms the critical force to drive innovation and economic growth, and that to this end, the promotion of the free flow of information is important.

Moreover, against the backdrop of the stimulation of cross-border digital business, the annexes describe member countries’ commitments to digital trade, including: engagement in efforts to improve assessment methods for ascertaining the current state of digital trade; voluntary utilization of the WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) to make the policies of member countries more transparent; and promotion of information exchange on best practices.

2. Meeting with Vice President Ansip, EC

In light of the opinion exchange on data flow between METI Minister Seko and Vice President Ansip, EC, on March 20, 2017, State Minister Matsumura and Vice President Ansip exchanged views concerning future approaches to advancing Japan-EU discussions to hold high-level and expert dialogues in the field of data, aiming at smoother Japan-EU data flow.

3. Meeting with Minister-President Kraft, NRW

State Minister Matsumura held a meeting with Minister-President Kraft, NRW, a state which has Dusseldorf as its capital and also contains the prosperous Ruhr region. At this meeting, both sides exchanged views concerning the enhancement of NRW-Japan ties in the fields of energy, medical care and other areas, and the revitalization of SMEs.

Release date

April 7, 2017

Division in Charge

International Affairs Office, Information Policy Division, Commerce and Information 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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