Prime Minister Abe opens G20 summit focus on free trade

The Group of 20 summit meeting started in Osaka Japan on Friday June 28, 2019. Leaders from the major economies in the G20 are discussing issues such as the environment and the world economy, which is becoming increasingly uncertain due to the trade conflict between the United States and China. At a meeting held at noon on Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for the maintenance of the free trade system and indicated his willingness for discussions aimed at compiling a leaders’ declaration on Saturday.

The summit is being attended by leaders from 37 countries, regions and international organizations, including U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. As chair of the summit, Abe welcomed the participants at the venue.

As the first session on the global economy, trade and investment began at noon, Abe said the world economy “is increasingly prone to downside risks” and that “above all, tensions over trade and geopolitics are increasing.” The remarks by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested that concerns over the slowdown of the global economy are growing in the face of U.S.-China trade conflict and the current situation in the Middle East.

“We have to send out a strong message for maintaining and strengthening the free, fair and nondiscriminatory trade system,” emphasized by the Prime Minister. Abe also called for the reform of the World Trade Organization, which has been criticized for not functioning properly. He also stressed to leaders the necessity of compiling a new global taxation rule aimed at imposing greater taxes on large information technology companies by next year which is also year for 2020 Tokyo olympics.