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Release of the White Paper on International Economy and Trade 2021

June 29, 2021

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has released the 2021 version of its annual White Paper on International Economy and Trade, which was presented to the Cabinet on June 29, 2021.

Highlights of the White Paper

The White Paper presented four international trends that trade policies in the COVID-19 era should be based on (namely, trends toward the following: 1. a larger economic role for governments; 2. strengthened economic security in each country; 3. increased interest in common values such as the environment and human rights in international economic activities; and 4. the digitalization of business).

The paper also discusses the need to update free trade systems in order to address challenges such as the following: a larger economic role for governments in the global economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 crisis; momentous changes like increased interest in common values such as the environment and human rights; continuous trade restrictions to prioritize the home country; and defamation of "level playing field" caused by market distorting measures.

In light of the above, the paper calls for the following in terms of future directions: building resilient supply chains by using digital technology; and acquiring new market opportunities toward achieving sustainable growth in Asia. It also advocates the importance of working toward developing new international rules and norms that will support free trade systems, and of having the public and private sectors work together to build value chains that leverage Japan's strengths.

Appendices

Division in Charge

Policy Planning and Research Office, Trade Policy Bureau
 
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