May 20, 2019
Mr. Akimasa Ishikawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Viña del Mar, the Republic of Chile, and attended the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting held there on May 17 and 18, 2019.
Taking this opportunity, he exchanged views on cooperation in making a success of the APEC MRT meeting and bilateral economic ties with H.E. Mr. Roberto Ampuero, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile, and other representatives of participating economies.
1. APEC MRT Meeting
Under the chairmanship of Minister Ampuero, participants in the meeting proactively held discussions on certain issues mainly focusing on the subjects of: advancing APEC’s support for the WTO, advancing APEC’s regional economic integration agenda, and strengthening inclusive and sustainable growth in the digital era.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa made the following statements and which were well received by other participants.
(1) Regarding the subject of advancing APEC’s support for the WTO, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa stated the following opinions:
- The multilateral trading system is now facing critical conditions that have never been seen before. APEC economies should tackle WTO reforms more seriously.
- APEC economies should fight protectionism including unfair trade practices, engage in enhancing the rules on industrial subsidies to remove market-distorting measures, and achieve a level playing field.
- Like-minded WTO members should accelerate advancement of discussions on the issues that are ready to be discussed, including issues other than those mentioned above, and should strive to make concrete achievements. APEC should make tireless efforts so as to win support for multilateral trading systems from the people.
- APEC should proactively maintain efforts that contribute to enhancement of the WTO functions and appropriate implementation of certain rules.
(2) Regarding the subject of advancing APEC’s regional economic integration agenda, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa stated the following opinions:
- APEC economies have been tackling the issues of free trade and investments in the APEC region and regional economic integration. However, challenges remain. Through their implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), and the list of the APEC environmental goods initiative, APEC economies should feel encouraged to make further efforts for achieving the Bogor goals.
- Based on the mandate instructed by the Lima Declaration on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which is the Leaders’ agreement, all APEC economies should engage studies and capacity building activities, including those on Next Generation Trade and Investment issues, so as to aim for realizing a high quality and comprehensive FTAAP.
- It is important that the elements taken up in the revised APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment are to be implemented on the ground.
(3) Regarding the subject of strengthening inclusive and sustainable growth in the digital era, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa mainly stated the following opinions:
- Ensuring the free flow of information and data is one of the major agenda items in the G20 meetings chaired by Japan this year. Realizing the concept of “Data Free Flow with Trust” which ensures free flow of data, privacy protection and security at the same time is important.
- To maximize the benefits brought about by the rapidly-advancing digital economy, APEC economies should more swiftly advance efforts in this field.
- The APEC region is expected to become “Digitalized APEC” after 2020. APEC economies should: accelerate the advancement of this trend in fair and competitive environments; win opportunities for encouraging individuals and enterprises, including SMEs and small enterprises, to succeed in business; and achieve prosperity across the APEC region.
As an outcome of the meeting, the APEC economies adopted a joint statement after reaching consensus and released the statement.
2. Bilateral meetings and other occasions
Taking this opportunity, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa exchanged views on cooperation in making a success of the APEC MRT meeting and bilateral economic ties with Minister Ampuero and Mr. Rodrigo Yanez, Vice Minister of Trade, Chile, and other representatives of participating economies.
Minister Ampuero, Chile
Vice Minister Yanez, Chile
3. Attending a media briefing on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which was hosted by the government of Chile
On May 16, 2019, the day before the convening of the APEC MRT meeting, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa attended a media briefing on CPTPP hosted by Minister Ampuero in Santiago, Chile, together with: Mr. Kiyoto Tsuji, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan; H.E. Mr. James Gordon Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, Canada; H.E. Mr. David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, New Zealand; H.E. Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore; and other ministers of the CPTPP member countries. Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa explained to the press the specific advantages of the CPTPP, in particular for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
4. Concluding the agreement for renewing the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with the Ministry of Mining, Chile
On May 17, 2019, during the period of the APEC MRT meeting, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishikawa held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Baldo Prokurica, Minister of Mining, Chile. The two sides concluded an agreement for renewing the MOC between METI and the Ministry of Mining, Chile, which was concluded in 2014.
At the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on their concerns that the two countries should hold discussions in the public-private policy dialogue to be held under the MOC. Moreover, Minister Prokurica requested that Japan participate in APEC Mining Week to be held in August 2019.
Division in Charge
- Information on APEC:
APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau
- Information on issues other than those involving APEC:
Latin America and Caribbean Office, Trade Policy Bureau