METI State Minister Makihara Attends Ministerial Meeting of Ottawa Group via Video Conference

June 15, 2020

In the evening of June 15 (Mon.), 2020, a Ministerial Meeting of the Ottawa Group, consisting of like-mined WTO member countries, including Japan, was held via video conference, and Mr. Makihara Hideki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended it.

Overview of the meeting

Since its inauguration in 2018, bringing together like-minded WTO member countries* proactive in WTO reform under the leadership of Canada as the chair, the Ottawa Group has been holding a series of ministerial meetings for the purpose of promoting enhancement and modernization of the multilateral trading system.

In light of the crisis caused by worldwide expansion of the novel coronavirus disease, this meeting was held aiming to hold discussions on trade policy actions that would support an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient recovery as well as what trade rules should be adapted or developed to guide collaborative policy responses to future global crises..

This meeting was held via video conference and, as representatives of Japan, State Minister Makihara and Mr. Wakamiya Kenji, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the meeting.

At the meeting, participants held discussions on: the need for improvement in transparency around export restrictions; the importance of accelerating WTO negotiations on e-commerce; examination of measures for trade facilitation for smooth and efficient distribution; the need for deliberating and analyzing trade policies for medical supplies; and other issues. Following the meeting, they issued a statement.

*Note: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the EU, Japan, Kenya, the ROK, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and the WTO Secretariat