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G20 Trade Ministers Meeting issues joint statement


07-11-2016 00:28 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

G20 trade ministers wrapped up two days of meetings in Shanghai Sunday. They issued the first trade ministers’ joint statement since the G20 was founded in 1999.

About 500 guests from G20’s member and guest economies, and officials from world economic groups took part in the meeting in Shanghai. The talks are considered a warm-up for the upcoming G20 summit.

After two days of intense discussions, participants released the first trade ministers’ joint statement in the history of the G20.

Members agreed to take comprehensive measures to help developing countries and small businesses move up the global value chain. They also clearly spoke out against trade protectionism.

“The Ministers have reiterated that they oppose trade protectionism. They have agreed to prolong the commitment of not implementing, or reducing, trade protection measures up through the end of 2018. Member economies have also committed to approving the Trade Facilitation Agreement by the end of this year,” said Chinese commerce minister Gao Hucheng.

The trade ministers agreed to establish a G20 Trade and Investment Working Group, which will coordinate and strengthen economic cooperation among members, and approved a plan to work on removing barriers to international trade called the “Strategy for the G20 International Trade Growth.”

Cross-border investment was a central discussion topic during the meeting. The ministers approved the first G20 Global Investment Guiding Principles to guide its development.

“It clarifies important principles that countries need to abide by, when they make domestic investment policies and negotiate overseas investment agreements. It covers nine core principles, which include that we oppose trade-perfectionism related to cross-border investment, and we need to build an open, non-discriminating, transparent and predictable policy environment,” Gao said.

China will chair the G20 summit this September. Officials in Beijing say they believe these agreements will lay a solid foundation for the upcoming event and help global leaders achieve pragmatic results in trade and investment.

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