Güterbahnhof zum Thema Handelspolitik

© iStock.com/querbeet

From 28 to 29 October 2023, the G7 Trade Ministers met in Osaka, Japan, to exchange views on current trade-policy challenges. The focus was on strengthening global value chains and securing a level playing field. The participants also discussed how the G7 should deal with coercive economic measures, the intensity of which has recently increased. In addition to the Group of Seven, the ministers of Australia, Chile, India, Indonesia and Kenya as important partners of the G7, and senior representatives of international organisations, including the WTO and the OECD, attended part of the meeting.

State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Udo Philipp attended the meeting on behalf of the German federal government. On the margins of the meeting, he also held a number of talks with high-ranking representatives from India, the United States and Chile.

State Secretary Philipp said: "In times of fundamental changes in the global economy and new geostrategic challenges, close cooperation of the G7 both within and outside the WTO is very important. Resilient supply chains and the necessary reform of the WTO in the interest of all of its members requires alliances, also beyond the G7. It is therefore helpful that a number of important partner countries have also attended the G7 meeting."

In the G7 Trade Ministers’ Statement, the G7 underline the important role of world trade and the WTO for the recovery of the global economy and the strengthening of sustainable global supply chains. State Secretary Philipp said: "Global rules need to be enforceable. The WTO therefore urgently needs to re-establish a functioning dispute settlement system. At the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference, the G7 will be a strong advocate of this." The participants also agreed to call for an extension of the Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmission and a work programme on trade and industrial subsidies at the WTO.

Furthermore, the G7 discussed the need for the creation of a level playing field in view of an increase in non-market-based practices, including forced technology transfer, market-distorting subsidies and unfair competition by state-owned and state-controlled companies. The G7 intend to address this problem, not least by improving international rules.

Further important issues include closer cooperation to combat economic coercion – by means of an intensive exchange on coercive measures, and better coordination possibilities, digital trade, and the contributions of trade policy to attain the internationally agreed climate and environmental goals.