(MENAFN- Caribbean News Global) OTTAWA, Canada – Toward its commitment to long-term economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to develop a strong global economy that is inclusive, green, and sustainable, Canada is dedicated to supporting Canadian businesses and the free flow of products and services across international borders.
On the margins of the Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held in Paris, France, on October 5 – 6, 2021, Mary Ng, minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, met with key international trade counterparts, including:
- Dan Tehan, Australia's minister for trade, tourism and investment;
- Muhammad Lutfi, Indonesia's minister of trade;
- Han-koo Yeo, South Korea's minister for trade;
- Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president and commissioner for trade of the European Commission.
Minister Ng and minister Tehan discussed ways to strengthen bilateral collaboration and build momentum on issues such as trade, health and WTO fisheries negotiations in the lead-up to the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), including through ongoing engagement in the Canada-led Ottawa Group and the G20 Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting taking place on October 12.
They also discussed their commitment to working with parties to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and with the United Kingdom on its accession process, while ensuring the CPTPP's high-standard rules and market access ambitions.
Minister Ng and minister Lutfi discussed next steps in the negotiation of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Indonesia and Canada. Minister Ng also expressed her appreciation for Indonesia's role as Canada's country coordinator on economic matters in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Minister Ng and minister Yeo spoke about their support for the central role of the WTO in providing predictability. They said they look forward to continued collaboration on shared priorities in the lead-up to the MC12, including in the context of the Ottawa Group.
Minister Ng and minister Dombrovskis discussed their shared commitment to keeping essential health and medical supply chains open and resilient. Minister Ng expressed appreciation for the European Union (EU) and its member states' continuous COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Canada throughout the pandemic and reaffirmed Canada's expectation that any export mechanisms would not affect the future delivery of vaccines to Canada.
Minister Ng also joined executive vice-president Dombrovskis in marking the fourth anniversary of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which took place on September 21. With trade between Canada and the EU being more sustainable and inclusive under CETA's strong provisions on the environment, labour, and gender, minister Ng reiterated that now is the time for all EU member states to complete the ratification to secure these benefits for businesses, workers, and communities.
Meanwhile, minister Ng concludes a successful meeting on WTO reform in Paris, reports Global Affairs Canada:“A rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, is essential to achieving a strong, sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This week, Mary Ng, concluded a successful visit to Paris, France, where she chaired the Canada-led Ottawa Group on WTO Reform and attended an informal meeting of WTO ministers, hosted by Australia.
“Citing cooperation between WTO members as key to success at the upcoming WTO 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), Minister Ng highlighted the importance of concluding an agreement on fisheries subsidies, achieving a multilateral declaration on trade and health, an outcome on agriculture domestic support, concluding the joint statement initiative on services domestic regulation, and refocusing efforts on WTO reform.
“At the Ottawa Group meeting, minister Ng led discussions on the importance of a trade and health outcome at MC12: noted the significant work the group has undertaken to reach out to dozens of WTO members to ensure that taking action on trade and health is a priority at MC12. The Ottawa Group also discussed how the group could advance other emerging issues at the WTO after MC12; emphasized the importance of restoring a fully functioning dispute settlement system and advancing progress on trade and environment and trade and gender.”
“Canadian businesses rely on open, stable, and rules-based trade. Canada will continue to work closely with our WTO partners to strengthen the multilateral trading system. We will continue to lead and support meaningful outcomes for MC12 to support strong economic growth in Canada and around the world as we recover from this COVID-19 pandemic,” said minister Ng.
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