September 23, 2020
On the evening of September 22 (Tue.), 2020, Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting held via video conference. Participating ministers of the G20 member countries held discussions on G20 cooperation as it relates to the current situations of global trade and investment and adopted a ministerial statement.
At this meeting, the G20 ministers held discussions on a wide variety of issues related to the current situation of global trade and investment, following the outcomes of the two past extraordinary meetings in March and May 2020. This meeting was held via video conference, and Minister Kajiyama and Mr. Shikata, Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended the meeting.
At the meeting, the ministers held discussions on maintaining and enhancing the multilateral trading system, facilitating the rule-making on digital economy and securing level playing field, which had also been continuously discussed in the past G20 meetings. In addition, they discussed topics on which Saudi Arabia, the 2020 G20 chair, is particularly interested in, e.g., boosting the international competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), fostering economic diversification, and strengthening international investment. As a result of the discussions, they adopted a ministerial statement.
Moreover, the ministers compiled the “Chair’s Summary of the Exchange of Views under the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO” (Annex 1), a document prepared by the Chair of the Trade and Investment Working Group as part of his responsibilities toward the WTO reform. This document will be shared among all WTO members through the General Council of the WTO.
The ministerial statement that the ministers adopted mainly includes the following points.
The ministers recognize the contribution that the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO has made by providing an additional opportunity to discuss and reaffirm the objectives and foundational principles of the multilateral trading system and to demonstrate ongoing political support for WTO reform discussions
They recall the Osaka Leaders Declaration and the Tsukuba Trade and Digital Economy Ministers Statement and reaffirm the interface between trade and the digital economy.
Securing a level playing field
They reaffirm that structural problems in some sectors, such as excess capacities, can cause a negative impact. They will continue to work to ensure a level playing field to foster a business environment.
They endorsed the “G20 Policy Guidelines on Boosting MSMEs’ International Competitiveness,” noted the “Synthesis Report of Members’ Best Practices and Lessons Learned on Trade in Services” (Annex 3).