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Trade Minister attends Trade, Investment & Industry Ministerial G20 Meeting 2022-09-23

Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun attended the Trade, Investment and Industry Ministerial G20 Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia on September 21-23 to discuss supply chain reinforcement, digital trade, WTO reform and green investment. Bilateral talks with the U.S., Indonesia, India and several other G20 member states were also held on the sidelines.

For each agenda, Minister Ahn relayed South Korea’s contributory efforts, policy directions under the new regime, and future joint measures to pursue with G20 partners.

With regard to the U.S.’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), he emphasized the importance of close cooperation for minimizing the impact from discriminatory and trade-restricting aspects of each country’s climate change response and new trade measures.

As for WTO, the trade chief stressed the need to make tangible strides in the reform of WTO’s legislation, dispute settling and monitoring functions. This step should be prioritized and accelerated in order to strengthen the role of trade in responding to new trade issues, such as climate change and digital economy. He particularly stated that restoring the dispute settlement mechanism is of utmost priority for Korea’s multilateral trade policies.

Concerning sustainable investment, the Government is making efforts to decarbonize core industries, invigorate new energy sectors, promote ESG management, attract green FDI for supplementing the domestic supply chain and speeding up the achievement of carbon neutral and investment sustainability.

In addition to introducing South Korea's various government programs to heighten productivity via AI and ICT, the Trade Minister also shared some policies in place to support the participation of more vulnerable entities, namely SMEs, middle-market companies and female workers in their participation in productivity enhancement.

For pandemic response, Minister Ahn urged that dutiful implementation of MC12 agreements is key and encouraged efforts for minimizing exports restrictions and advancing transparency. Noting that smooth production and distribution of medical supplies are attained through safe and resilient supply chains, he shared that Korea will be stepping up data exchange and joint countermeasures under its new regime.

With respect to digital trade and global value chain, Korea has strived to bolster digital commerce rules through numerous means and will continue these efforts under President Yoon. The Yoon administration plans to capitalize the broad FTA network to create opportunities in the digital economy.

On the sidelines of the G20 session, Trade Minister Ahn will meet with major G20 countries’ counterparts for bilateral talks to discuss U.S.’ IRA, supply chain, digital trade rules, building partnerships for climate change response, upgrading the FTA network and promotion of World Expo 2030 Busan.

Russia attended the Ministerial meeting as a G20 member state, and South Korea expressed agreement to the G20 major countries’ joint statement on the Russia-Ukraine situation.

The G20 meetings were meaningful in that the Ministry was able to propose directions for international joint efforts and extended the Korean government’s willingness to contribute to advancing and resolving major issues.