Japan seeks to use G20 chair role to improve global trade

23 Jan 19

Japan will use its G20 chairmanship to rebuild trust in the global trade system, its prime minister Shinzo Abe has said.

The 2019 G20 summit will be hosted this summer in Osaka. It will be the first-ever G20 summit to be hosted in Japan.

Abe, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, said: “Japan is determined to preserve and [is] committed to enhancing the free, open and rules-based international order.

“I call on all of you…to rebuild trust towards the system for international trade. That should be a system that is fair, transparent, and effective in protecting intellectual property rights and also in areas such as e-commerce and government procurement.”

He was speaking at a time where trade tension is high around the world, especially between the US and China. The IMF warned in its World Economic Outlook, released in Davos on Monday, that the trade war was one of the risks to global growth.

The summit in Japan, which will take place on 28-29 June, will be focused on climate change and ways for to use digital data, without infringing on personal privacy and intellectual property.

He said: “I must say that spending money for a green earth and a blue ocean, once deemed costly, is now a growth generator.

“Decarbonation and profit making can happen in tandem. We policymakers must be held responsible to make it happen, as I will be stressing in Osaka this year.”

Japan has consistently promoted free trade during the escalating tensions between the US and China.

The French, British and US leaders cancelled their trip to the Swiss Alps to deal with concerns at home, which makes Abe the only one of the G7 leaders attending the annual event.


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