The meeting of the G7 trade ministers ended today with the ministers showing great unanimity as they signed a joint statement on the future of trade policy. The trade ministers of the G7 met at Schloss Neuhardenberg (Neuhardenberg Palace) in the federal state of Brandenburg from 14 to 15 September 2022 at the invitation of Vice Chancellor and . In addition to trade policy and WTO reform, support for Ukraine was also a key topic on the agenda for the first evening.
Therefore, on the evening of the first day of the meeting and on the morning of the second, the G7 ministers were joined by Ms Yulia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, to discuss support measures for Ukraine and the reconstruction of the country. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck said: "Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for more than 200 days now. Russia’s brutality, the attacks against civilians, death, suffering and misery are more than depressing. In these times, we need to stand united together at international level and act in solidarity with Ukraine. The G7 trade ministers have strongly reaffirmed their determination to stand united and act together. And they have pledged unanimous support and solidarity for Ukraine and confirmed their united stance on the international sanctions against Russia.
Also, the G7 trade ministers are resolved to continue and expand their support for Ukraine, making full use of the various instruments of individual countries or the EU – whether it be in trade policy or when it comes to safeguarding private investments against external factors."
Regarding the joint statement on trade policy, Minister Habeck said: “This meeting is taking place against a geopolitical situation where the idea of global trade, which is to improve people’s lives through international trade relations, is being put under severe pressure. And this is not only happening with regard to Ukraine, but overall we’re seeing that more and more countries are turning their backs on the idea of ‘one world’ and that nationalist sentiment and geopolitical interests are increasing and countries seek to join together in blocs. This G7 meeting of trade ministers helps provide a counterweight to these tendencies. We maintain the view that open markets and participation in global commerce can benefit people’s lives and strengthen prosperity and sustainability in all countries."
The trade implications of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine also affect the reliability of global supply chains. The G7 trade ministers therefore exchanged views with Mr Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to identify measures that will help ensure resilient and sustainable supply chains.
Another focus of their discussion was the reform and modernisation of the WTO. The WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala joined the discussion via video link.
Furthermore, the ministers had in-depth discussions on approaches to tackle market-distorting industrial subsidies, state-owned enterprises, and economic coercion, such as de facto trade boycotts. The G7 trade ministers said that they will continue their efforts to ensure a level playing field for all economic actors.