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METI Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki Attends G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting

September 18, 2018

From September 13 (Thur.) to 14 (Fri.), 2018, Mr. Daisaku Hiraki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Argentine Republic to attend a G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting. Taking this opportunity, he held individual meetings with participating ministers and other officials responsible for trade.

1. G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting

On September 14 (Fri.), Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki attended a G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting. At the meeting, participating ministers held discussions on the “G20 dialogue on current international trade developments,” “trade and investment aspects of agro-food global value chains,” and “trade and investment aspects of the new industrial revolution.” As an outcome of the discussions, they released a ministerial statement including the need for improvement of the WTO to address current situations in trade and mutual recognition of the need to hold continuous dialogues among G20 members.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki expressed concerns related to the facts that the escalation of trade restrictive measures is beginning to have a negative effect on the intricate web of supply chains covering the globe, and that there are signs that investment activities are also being affected.

In addition, he stressed that in order to maintain and improve the rules-based free trade system, it is essential to urgently move ahead with WTO reform, so that the WTO will be able to effectively cope with challenges facing the global economy. He continued that to this end, the G20 should politically encourage the WTO to improve its rule-making capabilities, enhance its monitoring mechanism and improve its dispute settlement procedures.

On June 8 and 9, 2019, Japan will host a G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, as the 2019 G20 chair.

In light of this, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki expressed that as the next G20 chair, Japan intends to further develop the results of G20 discussions in 2018 under the chairmanship of Argentina and that to this end, Japan wishes to encourage G20 members to hold discussions to further advance their efforts for addressing a variety of challenges that the global economy is facing, including challenges in the fields that overlap between trade/investment and the digital economy.

2. Meeting with ministers and other officials responsible for trade from participating countries

To exchange views concerning the recent circumstances surrounding international trade and cooperation among G20 members, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hiraki held individual meetings with: H.E. Mr. Jorge Marcelo Faurie, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina, the 2018 G20 chair; H.E. Mr. Juan Carlos Baker Pineda, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Secretariat of the Economy, Mexico; H.E. Mr. Timothy Sargent, Deputy Minister for International Trade, Canada; and H.E. Dr. Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment, Saudi Arabia. He also talked with other participating dignitaries including: H.E. Mr. Dante Sica, Minister of Production and Labor, Argentina; H.E. Dr. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, the EU; H.E. Mr. Michele Geraci, Secretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Italy; The Rt. Hon Dr. Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, the United Kingdom; and H.E. Mr. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia.

Appendix

Division in Charge

International Economic Affairs Division, Trade Policy Bureau