G20 Summit: Japan’s PM deeply concerned about current trade environment

The 14th Group of 20 (G20) summit kicked off in Osaka, Japan on Friday, with issues pertaining to the global economy, multilateral trade and development taking center stage.

Speaking on the first day of the summit, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country currently holds the presidency of the G20, said he is deeply concerned about the current trade environment. "A free and open economy is the foundation of peace and prosperity, but anxiety and discontent regarding abrupt changes due to globalisation at times brings about the temptation of protectionism, causing sharp confrontation between states," said Mr. Abe. He added that a strong message is needed on free, fair and nondiscriminatory trade. Abe called on the G20 to use all policy tools in place to drive the global economy. He also hoped to discuss with leaders the measures on furthering the reform of the World Trade Organization.

Also on Friday, G20 leaders agreed on the importance of the digital economy. Mr. Abe said digitally driven economies can spark innovation and encourage economic growth. But in order to do so, there needs to be a reliable set of international rules for the free flow of data, he added. He called on concerned parties to make progress on the digital economy at the WTO's ministerial meeting scheduled for June of next year.

Source: VOV5