November 26, 2018
On November 15, 2018, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and attended the 30th APEC Ministerial Meeting with Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Rimbink Pato, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Papua New Guinea, member countries held vigorous discussions focusing on the themes of “Improving Connectivity, Deepening Regional Economic Integration” and “Promoting Sustainable and Inclusive Growth through Structural Reforms.” Minister Seko made the following proposals and statements:
- Like-minded members should make a serious effort concerning the WTO reforms beginning with the issues that can jump-start discussions, in order to maintain and develop a rule-based multilateral trade system;
- Japan will achieve quality, comprehensive agreements, such as CPTTP and RCEP, and lead efforts for economic integration to realize the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP);
- Concerning digital trade, APEC should take the initiative in efforts to achieve a free flow of information and data, and should share successful results with the member economies;
- The APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment (Revision), which was endorsed by the member economies at this meeting, is a significant outcome because it is the first attempt in APEC to compile the key elements in development and investment of quality infrastructure including transparency, openness, economic efficiency and fiscal soundness; and
- Japan will relay the discussion results of this meeting to discussions at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy to be held in 2019 under the chairmanship of Japan.
Furthermore, the APEC Ministerial Chair’s Statement released on November 23, 2018 includes the following points which reflect many of Japan’s positions above:
- APEC Ministers support a well-functioning WTO that provides a framework based on rules agreed upon by its members;
- They support necessary reform of the WTO in order to address existing and emerging global trade challenges;
- They welcome the revision of the APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment and the completion of the APEC Guideline for Quality of Water Infrastructure;
- They emphasize the importance of enabling the free flow of information and data, recognizing legitimate domestic public policy objectives; and
- They encourage economies to advance studies to better understand the digital economy including the state of data-utilizing businesses.
- APEC Ministerial Chair’s Statement
- APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment (Revision)
- APEC Guideline for Quality of Water Infrastructure
Division in Charge
- Information on this press release:
APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau
- Information on the revision of the APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment:
Trade Promotion Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau
- Information on the APEC Guideline for Quality of Water Infrastructure:
Office for Promotion of International Project, Infrastructure System and Water Industry, Manufacturing Industries Bureau