November 17, 2020
On November 16 (Mon.), 2020, the 31st APEC Ministerial Meeting was held via video conference, and Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Mr. Ejima Kiyoshi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, participated in the meeting. Participants held discussions on a new vision* for defining future directions in which the APEC region should aim toward 2040; response measures to impacts of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); and international cooperation towards the recovery of regional economies after the containment of COVID-19. Following this, they adopted a joint ministerial statement.
Under the chairmanship of H.E. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, the APEC Ministerial Meeting was held via video conference. As representatives of METI, Minister Kajiyama and State Minister Ejima participated in the meeting, while as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Mr. Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Washio Eiichiro, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, participated.
At the meeting participants discussed issues related to response measures to impacts of COVID-19; international cooperation towards the recovery of regional economies after the containment of COVID-19; and a new vision* for defining future directions in which the APEC region should aim toward 2040 with a central focused on two themes: “Improving the Narrative of Trade and Investment” and “Inclusivity, Digital Economy and Innovative Sustainability”. Following this, they adopted a joint ministerial statement as an outcome of the discussions.
Highlights of the statement adopted on this occasion are as follows.
- APEC member economies recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has gravely impacted the Asia-Pacific region and the entire global economy. They are committed to working together to facilitate the movement of essential goods and services across borders and, without undermining efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, explore ways to facilitate the essential movement of people across borders.
- They welcome the completion of work on a new vision for APEC that is built on the Bogor Goals.
Trade and investment
- They recognize the importance of a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment.
- They affirm the importance of agreed-upon rules in the WTO. They will continue to engage constructively on WTO issues, including by supporting the necessary reform to improve its functioning. They take note of the call of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) for APEC to continue supporting the multilateral trading system.
Digital economy and technology
- The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the role of digital economy, transformation and technology in sustaining economic growth. They acknowledge the importance of cooperation on facilitating the flow of data and strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions.
Economic and technical cooperation
- Cognizant of the interdependence among low-carbon and climate-resilient green growth, regional economic prosperity and a healthy planet, they endeavor to strengthen their economic and technical cooperation to deliver economic policies that complement their efforts to achieve sustainable development and address all environmental challenges, including climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters.
- They recognize the essential role of energy security and energy resilience, as well as affordable and reliable access to energy using the widest variety of fuels and technologies, which will advance transitions to cleaner energy, support sustainable economic growth, and achieve a strong and inclusive economic recovery.
- They look forward to enhancing digital technology, facilitating seamless connectivity, developing quality infrastructure based upon relevant APEC work, promoting trade facilitation and strengthening supply chain resilience, as well as promoting cooperation on mobility of people.
- Joint Ministerial Statement of the 31st APEC Ministerial Meeting 2020 (original text in English)(PDF:81KB)
- Photo of Minister Kajiyama
- Photo of State Minister Ejima
Division in Charge
APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau