Yesterday, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, spoke with Hiroshi Kajiyama, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Ministers Ng and Kajiyama discussed ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between Canada and Japan on shared trade and economic priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, including through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and multilateral forums, such as the G7 and WTO.
Both ministers underscored the importance of supporting the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core-especially in the context of addressing the global COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. They discussed key priorities for the WTO and the Ottawa Group on WTO reform to focus on in the lead-up to the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) and beyond. These include promoting the Trade and Health Initiative spearheaded by the Ottawa Group, working to resolve the Appellate Body impasse, concluding negotiations on fisheries subsidies, and advancing work on the joint statement initiatives, particularly domestic regulation of services and e-commerce. The ministers also emphasized the importance of collaboration on trade and environment issues, both at the WTO and bilaterally.
Minister Ng noted that the strong and evolving trade relationship between Canada and Japan has helped ensure stable international supply chains for energy, critical minerals and agricultural products.
The ministers discussed the importance of rules-based international trade and affirmed their commitment to working together to foster inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous growth and to supporting a strong, sustainable, and inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic.