November 9, 2021
On November 9 (Tue.), the APEC Ministerial Meeting (Session 2) was held via video conference, and Mr. Hosoda Kenichi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) attended as the representative of METI. The participants held discussions on the theme of an "economic and technical cooperation as a tool to accelerate our economic recovery." Following this, APEC Ministers adopted a joint ministerial statement.
1. APEC Ministerial Meeting (Session 2)
Under the chairmanship H.E. Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand (this year's APEC chair country), the APEC Ministerial Meeting (Session 2) was held via video conference, continuing from the first session held on November 8 (Mon.). State Minister Hosoda attended as a representative of METI. (Mr. Odawara Kiyoshi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended as a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)
At the meeting, participants discussed the importance of strengthening efforts to address climate change and promoting innovation and digitalization toward a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery in the Asia-Pacific region with an "economic and technical cooperation as a tool to accelerate our economic recovery " as the theme.
Following this, APEC Ministers adopted a joint ministerial statement as an outcome of the discussions on November 8 (Mon.) and 9 (Tue.).
- Accelerating the international rule-making toward achieving “Data Free Flow with Trust” (DFFT) in order to further utilize digital technology.
- Achieving realistic energy transitions and energy resilience through various pathways is essential to achieving carbon neutrality and ensuring a stable and affordable energy supply.
- The need to stabilize the international oil market in response to the recent upward trend in oil prices.
2. Joint Ministerial Statement
The highlights of the Joint Ministerial Statement adopted at this meeting are as follows:
- We will continue our work to accelerate equitable and timely access to safe, effective, quality-assured and affordable vaccines
- We task our officials to ensure APEC-wide coordination on safe passage and work towards tangible outcomes in 2022.
Economic and Trade Policies that Strengthen Recovery
- To ensure APEC economies fully share in the benefits of trade, we will continue to work together to ensure our trade and investment environment is free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable. We will continue to work to ensure a level playing field.
- We will advance economic integration in the region in a manner that is market driven. We support ongoing efforts to conclude, ratify, implement and upgrade trade agreements in the region. We will advance the APEC Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) agenda in line with implementing the Lima Declaration, to contribute to high quality and comprehensive regional undertakings.
- We recognize the importance of promoting connectivity through quality infrastructure development and investment
- We will work to improve the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. we will engage constructively and cooperate to ensure the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) is a success and delivers concrete results. We continued our frank and constructive discussions regarding improvement to the WTO’s monitoring, negotiating and dispute settlement functions.
Increasing Inclusion and Sustainability for Recovery
- We acknowledge the need for urgent and concrete action to address climate change. We appreciate net zero or carbon neutrality commitments.
- With regard to the 2012 APEC List of Environmental Goods, we instruct officials to develop recommendations for potentially producing a new reference list, and to update the List of Environmental Goods to HS2022. We encourage further discussions on the impact of non-tariff measures on trade in environmental goods and services. We welcome and endorse the Reference List of Environmental and Environmentally Related Services.
- We encourage the efforts to pursue a voluntary standstill on inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
- We recognize the essential role that stable and diverse energy supplies play in achieving sustainable economic development. We will continue to work together to support energy resilience and security. We acknowledge the importance of stable energy markets and supporting the clean energy transition.
Pursuing Innovation and a Digitally-Enabled Recovery
- We recognize the importance of digital transformation and bridging the digital divide. We welcome progress made by APEC members in embedding the paperless trading facilitation measures they adapted during COVID-19.
- We will cooperate on facilitating the flow of data and strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions, with a view to mitigating the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
* Annex 1. Summary Report of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap Mid-Term Review
* Annex 2. Reference List of Environmental and Environmentally Related Services
Division in Charge
APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau