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Trade Minister attends trade ministerial sessions at Davos 2023-01-20

Minister for Trade Dukgeun Ahn attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 held in Davos, Switzerland, as of January 18, where he partook in various sessions discussing key issues with many other countries’ government and business leaders.

Trade Minister Ahn attended the “The Case for Trade”, “Busting Business Barriers” and Trade and Investment Leadership Breakfast sessions to discuss measures for restoring the global trade system and investment.

He attended “The Case for Trade” session with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai as one of the panelists and emphasized the need for stronger global trade solidarity for revitalization of the free trade system so as to respond to the recent rise in protectionism.

In the “Busting Business Barriers” session, he proposed measures to stimulate global trade and investment by securing supply chain stability and minimizing protectionism.

Minister Ahn then attended the Trade and Investment Leadership Breakfast session along with 30 other ministerial-level attendees and corporate representatives to discuss issues that would be covered again during the trade ministers’ session for facilitating global investment.

At the invitation of the Polish government, the trade chief attended the Polish House Discussion session where he exchanged views with the Polish Deputy Prime Minister and CEOs of both Polish and Korean energy corporations regarding European energy security and nuclear power plants.

He noted the global recognition Korea has gained in terms of nuclear power plant project management as shown by the UAE Barakah nuclear power plant construction, and said that he looked forward to the mutually beneficial cooperation between Korea and Poland.

Next, the Trade Minister attended six trade ministerial sessions: 1) session between WTO Director-General and major countries’ trade ministers 2) climate change response session 3) investment facilitation session 4) Ottawa Group session 5) e-commerce session 6) WTO Trade Ministers’ small session.

Minister Ahn also met with Saudi Arabia's Minister for Economy and Planning, Malaysia’s Minister for International Trade and Industry, Swiss Minister for Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Ecuador’s Minister for Production, Foreign Trade, Investment, and Fisheries and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. They discussed issues ranging from FTA to the normalization of WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.

He also met with Amazon Web Services Vice President Michael Punke to discuss digital trade cooperation.

Minister Ahn assessed the trade ministerial sessions as meaningful meetings during which ministers are able to gather and build on the momentum from the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) held last June, seeking ways to restore the multilateral trade system.

He added that amid the downturn in trade and investment from multiple global crises, Korea will take the lead as negotiation chair country to try and steer the discussions toward a swift settlement.