The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, spoke yesterday with Hideki Makihara, Japan’s State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Minister Ng thanked Minister Makihara for his country’s support in helping Canadians who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, return home.
The ministers also discussed their common priorities for the upcoming virtual meeting of the Ottawa Group on World Trade Organization (WTO) Reform. These priorities include greater transparency regarding export restrictions taken by a number of countries, and ways to ensure the smooth flow of trade for the benefit of our citizens as countries begin to gradually reopen their economies.
The ministers also agreed on the importance of helping businesses and workers adapt to the new digital economy, and advancing e-commerce negotiations at the WTO to establish clear rules for online trade. This will support Canadian and Japanese companies who are increasingly shifting their operations online to maintain and grow their business amid the pandemic.
Throughout their conversation, the ministers reaffirmed the strong commercial relationship between Canada and Japan. Minister Ng highlighted the opportunities for building on this relationship to ensure everyone can benefit from trade agreements, including small businesses, women entrepreneurs, and Indigenous business owners.