May 21, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
Canada is deeply committed to strengthening rules-based international trade and to the mutually beneficial global partnerships that come with it.
On May 22 and 23, 2019, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, will vice-chair the 2019 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris, France. In this leadership role, he will reaffirm Canada’s support for effective multilateralism and a strong rules-based international order-to the benefit of Canadians and people around the world.
The theme of this year’s meeting is Harnessing Digital Transition for Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges, which will allow for comprehensive discussions on how the benefits of the digital transition can be fully realized and broadly distributed among countries and their citizens. In this regard, Minister Carr will lead a ministerial discussion on the competition aspects of the digital transition.
The Minister will also chair the session on trade, where he will showcase Canada’s commitment to inclusive trade, which ensures that all segments of society can take advantage of the opportunities that flow from trade and investment. We can never succeed if we are leaving entire communities behind, so engaging marginalized groups like women, Indigenous communities and minority groups in trade activities that create wealth will help our economy-and our country-reach its full potential.
On the margins of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, Minister Carr will host a third meeting of the Ottawa Group on World Trade Organization (WTO) Reform, demonstrating Canada’s continued leadership on taking urgent action to strengthen and modernize our rules-based multilateral trading system for the 21st century. The group of like-minded WTO members aims to combine efforts to strengthen and shape the WTO into a modernized system that continues to benefit everyone, including Canadian businesses and exporters.
“Canada has a long and distinguished history as a global leader in developing and supporting rules-based international trade and the institutions that support it. We are working hard to strengthen our multilateral trading system, because it has created wealth, prosperity and jobs not just for Canadians, but for countries around the world.”
– Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification
The OECD’s origins date back to 1960, when 18 European countries plus the United States and Canada joined forces to create an organization dedicated to economic development.
Today, the OECD’s member countries span the globe, from North and South America to Europe and Asia Pacific. The 36 OECD members account for 62.1% of the world economy.
The 2019 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting will be chaired by Slovakia, with Canada and South Korea as vice-chairs.
Canada was one of the founding members of the WTO in 1995, and before that Canada was a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Today, the WTO has 164 members around the world.
The value of global trade in goods and services in 2017 was estimated at $29.8 trillion.
Canada hosted ministers from 12 WTO member countries at the Ottawa Ministerial on WTO Reform on October 24 and 25, 2018, and led a similar meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 24, 2019.