"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Statement on Advancing WTO Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and Resisting Protectionism

[Place] Yokohama, Japan
[Date] November 11, 2010
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Notes] The 22th APEC Ministerial Meeting
[Full text]

We, the APEC Ministers, gathering for our XXII meeting in Yokohama, Japan express our strong commitment to the multilateral trading system and our strong commitment to bring the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.

1. A strong multilateral trading system is an essential source of economic growth, development, and stability. An ambitious and balanced conclusion of the DDA will provide a much-needed stimulus for the global economy. The delay in concluding the DDA negotiations is therefore a source of continuing concern. In this regard, we strongly reiterated the importance of translating our political commitment into concrete actions toward a final conclusion, delivering meaningful new trade opportunities in all areas and substantial reductions in trade distortions, in light of the development dimension as mandated.

2. We reaffirmed our resolve to achieve a balanced and ambitious conclusion to the negotiations as promptly as possible, consistent with the Doha mandate, built on the progress achieved, including with regard to modalities. We agreed to endorse the progress made by negotiating groups in Geneva and to take steps to direct and empower representatives in Geneva and Senior Officials with the necessary flexibilities to further engage in active and substantive negotiations in all the appropriate fora and configurations. Bearing in mind that 2011 will be a critically important "window of opportunity," we are resolved to engage in comprehensive negotiations with a sense of urgency in the end game. APEC economies will make a due contribution toward a successful DDA outcome. We affirmed our commitment to win domestic support in our respective systems for a strong agreement.

3. Recognizing that the prompt conclusion of DDA will benefit all WTO members, especially developing members, we reaffirmed that all WTO members should work together, with a sense of collective responsibility, to advance the DDA negotiations. Also, we reaffirmed that "Aid for Trade (AfT) " is an important element in helping developing members increase their participation in and realize the benefit of the multilateral trading system. We will continue to work together to support this initiative, including the 3rd AfT Global Review Meeting to be held in July 2011.

4. Open markets are vital for growth and job creation, enabling strong and sustainable growth in this region. While world economy is on its way to recovery; however, there still remains a possibility of increasing protectionist pressures in the future. We agreed to extend the commitment on standstill made by Ministers Responsible for Trade in June in Sapporo for another year until 2011. We further agreed to recommend our leaders to re-extend their commitment on standstill made in 2008, to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO-inconsistent measures in all areas, including those that stimulate exports, until the end of 2013. We reiterated the importance of complying with the basic principles of the WTO agreements as well as continuing to ensure transparency and predictability in implementing measures that impact trade and investment. We also remain committed to taking steps to rollback trade distorting measures introduced during the crisis. Furthermore, we will continue to exercise maximum restraint in implementing measures that may be considered to be consistent with WTO provisions if they have a significant protectionist effect and promptly rectify such measures where implemented.

5. We considered the Trade Review report compiled by the APEC Secretariat with inputs from the WTO, ABAC and other relevant bodies, and reviewed the trade, fiscal and monetary measures undertaken by APEC economies since the June 2010 MRT. We welcomed the report's findings showing a decline in trade restricting or distorting measures and a marked increase in the number of new measures introduced to facilitate trade. In this connection, we recognize that trade monitoring efforts in the WTO have been functioning effectively so far, and appreciate the degree to which APEC has been involved in information-sharing. We will continue to support the monitoring activities of relevant international organizations including the WTO, and cooperate with them.