Minister Ng Hosts Ottawa Group Meeting with WTO

Global Affairs Canada

Rules-based trade and international cooperation are vital to fostering resilient and inclusive economic growth and prosperity across the globe.

This week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, participated in a WTO informal ministerial meeting hosted by Switzerland in Davos and met with international counterparts to advance work on shared trade priorities.

Minister Ng endorsed the Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate joint statement to ensure that climate action is at the heart of global trade policies. As a member of the Coalition, Canada is committed to working with its international partners to accelerate action to fight climate change and build a more sustainable and resilient economy.

The Minister also chaired this year’s first meeting of the Ottawa Group on WTO reform and participated in other WTO-related meetings to discuss key priorities and solutions toward delivering a strong outcome at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference, to be held in February 2024.

At the Ottawa Group meeting, Minister Ng and her Ottawa Group counterparts discussed next steps in the implementation of the fisheries subsidies agreement that was agreed to at the 12thMinisterial Conference and the extension of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. At the Swiss-hosted WTO informal ministerial meeting, Minister Ng reiterated these priorities and the importance of members making progress on agriculture negotiations. She also attended a breakfast hosted by the co-convenors of the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce, where she highlighted Canada’s commitment to concluding an ambitious agreement by the end of 2023.

Minister Ng also participated in a panel discussion on the world’s transition to an intangible, knowledge-based economy. The Minister highlighted the Canada Digital Adoption Program, which supports Canadian businesses in the intangibles and knowledge-based sectors, helping them to innovate, scale and compete around the world.

On the margins of the informal ministerial meeting, Minister Ng held bilateral meetings with her counterparts, including Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative, and Kemi Badenoch, U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade, to strengthen commercial ties and to discuss progress on shared trade priorities.

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