On the evening of March 30 (Mon.), 2020, Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended a G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting held via video conference. Participating ministers of the member countries confirmed their collaboration in addressing the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and adopted a ministerial statement.
This meeting was held in response to a call by Saudi Arabia, the 2020 G20 chair, for the purpose of holding discussions on actions against the expansion of the novel coronavirus disease, in particular, approaches to avoiding unnecessary interference with trade and facilitating international trade. The meeting was held via a video conference and Minister Kajiyama and Mr. Wakamiya Kenji, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the meeting as representatives of Japan.
Participants in the meeting shared common view of the seriousness of disrupted global supply chains and weakened consumer activities caused by the pandemic. They affirmed coordination at the trade-ministerial level and highlighted the importance of ensuring the continued flow of goods and services to maintain economic activities in the current situation where the mobility of people has been limited.
In the ministerial statement, the ministers agreed on the following points.
- The emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19, if deemed necessary, must be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary, and consistent with WTO rules.
- The ministers are committed to ensuring smooth and continued operation of logistics networks. They should explore ways for logistics networks via air, sea and land freight to remain open.
- They will call on international organizations to provide an in-depth analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on world trade, investment and global supply chains. Moreover, they will task the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group to identify actions that could help alleviate the impact of COVID-19 as well as longer-term actions that should be taken to maintain global supply chains and expedite economic recovery.