International collaboration is critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring a strong, resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic recovery guided by a rules-based international trading system.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, participated in the G7 Trade and Investment Ministers’ Meeting, hosted by Liz Truss, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for International Trade.
At the meeting, the G7 ministers agreed to redouble efforts on the accelerated production and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and to take decisive steps to ensure that the WTO is prepared to respond to future trade and health challenges. This includes support for the United Kingdom’s workplan under its 2021 G7 Presidency to enhance the capacity of the global trading system to respond to public health emergencies. Minister Ng noted the important work underway in the Trade and Health Initiative at the WTO, spearheaded by the Ottawa Group for WTO Reform.
Minister Ng reiterated Canada’s continued engagement with other G7 countries on WTO reform in advance of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in November 2021. This includes strengthening WTO rules to address trade-distorting practices, improving transparency, delivering a timely conclusion of fisheries subsidies negotiations, and providing for effective WTO dispute settlement.
Minister Ng also emphasized the importance of G7 members working together to modernize digital trade rules to support an inclusive economic recovery that leaves no one behind and to ensure that global supply chains are free from goods produced by forced labour. Throughout the two-day event, Minister Ng also highlighted the importance of rules-based trade and WTO initiatives in supporting coordinated global climate change action and in ensuring a sustainable future economy.
In exchanges with her G7 counterparts, Minister Ng emphasized the importance of fostering greater participation in global trade by under-represented groups, including women, Indigenous businesses, racialized entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Minister Ng encouraged broader G7 participation in two initiatives championed by Canada: the WTO trade and gender workplan, and the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement, both of which promote the greater participation of women in trade and will be crucial in advancing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The G7 trade and investment ministers agreed to meet again in October 2021 to make further progress on key initiatives in advance of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.
“Canada continues to work closely with our international partners to ensure that our businesses, workers, and communities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and that the future economy is more inclusive and sustainable than ever before. The G7 is a vital forum for advancing policies that will help us meet those goals and we will continue to actively lead there.”
– Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade