G-20 Trade and Investment Ministers Confirm Cooperation to Mitigate the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic

15 May 2020


G-20 Trade and Investment Ministers stress their determination to cooperate and coordinate to mitigate and relieve the impact of Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic on trade and investment. They endeavor to establish a strong foundation for global economic recovery based on strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

This is as mentioned in the closing statement issued after the second meeting of G-20 Trade and Investment Ministers, which reads as follows:

“We backup G-20 measures to face Covid-19 Pandemic in relation to the commercial and investment issues, which are prepared by the Trade and Investment Working Group, (See the Appendix). These measures are divided into two parts: short-term measures, designed to mitigate and relieve the impact of Covid-19 Pandemic, and long-term measures that aim to support the necessary reforms needed for the World Trade Organization and the Multilateral Trading System, along with creating flexibility in the Global Supply Chains, besides strengthening the World Investment.

We welcome the joint work of the World Organizations to provide an in-depth and consolidated analysis of the impact of the pandemic on global trade, also on the investment and on the global supply chains. Absolutely, we will continue to work with these organizations - within the scope of their authorization - to facilitate investment and to maintain the flow of the main goods and services.

We will continue to work closely to monitor the situation and evaluate the impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on trade. We will meet again whenever the need arises, and we have assigned the Trade and Investment Working Group the task of paying special attention to these measures on permanent basis, and to provide updates on the current status, especially the implementation of the procedures agreed upon.

Ensure that any Emergency Trade Measures designed to combat Covid-19, including restrictions on the cross-border export of supplies, medical equipment, and other essential goods and services related to Covid-19- if needed - must be targeted, equal, transparent and temporary. Unnecessary obstacles on trade and the ones that may disrupt the global supply chains should be removed. Meanwhile, all measures should comply with the World Trade Organization law.

Refrain from imposing any restrictions on the export of agricultural food products, including the products purchased for non-commercial or humanitarian purposes, also   avoiding unnecessary storage of foodstuffs, besides ensuring the Local Food Security.

Exempt the humanitarian aid, relevant to Covid-19 Pandemic, from any restrictions related to the export of medical supplies and equipment, as well as the personal protective equipment.

Speeding up the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation - as far as possible - and in particular the implementation of provisions that are necessary during the current pandemic, such as Article 7.1 (Pre-Treatment of Arrival), Article 7.3 (Separation between Release and Final Determination of Customs Duties, Taxes and Fees), and Article 7.8 (Rapid Shipping Operations).

Speeding up and simplifying customs procedures, in line with the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation, and encouraging the use of electronic documentation and e-operations - wherever possible and practical – besides using the smart applications.

Minimize technical barriers by encouraging greater utilization of available relevant international standards and ensuring access to these standards in order to enable the production of personal protective equipment and medical supplies.

Sharing the necessary information with the G20 about medical items suppliers - when necessary and in line with the applicable national legislation - to facilitate business deals.

Encouraging the Economic Ministers and Industry Ministers of the G20 countries to expand the production capacity of the medical devices and equipment, as well as the personal protection equipment, also ensuring the full operation of facilities in line with the public health guidelines.

Encouraging the Digital Economy Ministers of the G20 countries to promote and enhance the application of digital services and e-commerce in order to facilitate the flow of essential goods and services during Covid-19 pandemic.

Encourage governments to facilitate and ease resuming the necessary cross-border transportation, while ensuring mutually adhered health standards, and ensuring as well that the public health protection measures are going in line with the pandemic control efforts, besides reducing the socio-economic consequences of Covid-19. 

Support the World Organizations (WTO, OECD, FAO, WFP) in their efforts to analyze   the effects of Covid-19 Pandemic on Global Agricultural Supplies, Food Distribution Chains, Production of Food and Trade.

Sharing experiences and best practices regarding the measures taken by states at their borders during this period, in addition to identifying the parties to be contacted at each government within a reasonable period of time.

Disclosure of measures related to trade, customs and other processes that have been activated at the borders to respond to Covid-19 as soon as they are adopted, and all that to go in line with our obligations to the World Trade Organization.

Encouraging the Ministers of Transportation in the G-20 countries to improve air, land and sea link and active transportation, also cooperate with the private sector to give priority to the movement of the necessary goods and to have access to freight in order to secure an effective transportation of goods and to maintain high link, and thus protecting the jobs.

Encouraging the Ministers of Transportation in the G20 countries to facilitate and increase air cargo capacity by converting passengers’ planes into cargo planes temporarily and in accordance with the applicable safety and security standards.

Making the information available for enforcing the procedures relevant to vehicles, drivers, cargo or passengers, especially in quarantine areas, within a reasonable time and to the extent practicable.

Encouraging the Ministers of Transportation in the G20 countries to abide by the international practices and guidelines to guarantee goods movement via maritime channels, and to go in line with the National Rules & Regulations. 

Supporting MSMEs, and inviting World Organizations to prepare in-depth reports - within the framework of the authorizations assigned to them - on the breakdown of the global value chains due to Covid-19 pandemic, and the damage affected on MSMEs.

Encouraging and enhancing the communication channels and networks with MSMEs, while deepening cooperation with the private sector.

Supporting the World Trading System, enhancing the reforms needed for the World Trade Organization, and supporting the role of the Multilateral Trading System in relation to promoting stability and predicting about   trade flows.

Proceeding discussions on how the G20 can support the work of the World Trade Organization as per Riyadh initiative, relevant to the future of the World Trade Organization.

Endeavor to enhance transparency and notify the World Trade Organization of any trade measures that have been taken in line with our obligations to WTO.

Do the necessary cooperation to create a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, stable, and predictable trade and investment environment, while keeping the markets open.

Work to ensure equal opportunities to enhance and promote the business environments, also reaffirm the importance of the interaction between trade and the digital economy, as well as focusing on the ongoing discussions relevant to the Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce and the momentum related to tariffs on e-transfers, in addition to reaffirming the importance of vitalizing the e-commerce work program at WTO.

Finding out the initiatives of WTO related to Covid-19 Pandemic, so that to enhance and promote the availability of supply chains relevant to pharmacy, medicine and other health products.

Creating flexibilities in global supply chains, and support the development of best practices, particularly the measures that can be taken during global crises, to support the expansion of goods production and the trading of commodities and essential services, including digital trade.

Strengthening the cooperation among the authorities responsible for organizing trade, including Customs Authorities, on matters related to E-Document Management.

Ensure the transparency and availability of information related to trade and information, which has relation with the global markets and that would benefit the MSMEs, all that in cooperation with the Business Group.

Encouraging policy linkages to strengthen cooperation among multinationals, micro, small and medium enterprises. This is in cooperation with the Business Group.

Encouraging the governments to develop voluntary guidelines that would allow the necessary trans-border movement - during global health crises - such as maintaining global supply chains, and traveling for important business purposes that go in line with the National Rules & Regulations and without any effort undermining, relevant to the protection of public health.

Recall the G20 voluntary guidelines on global investment policy-making, and share information on actions taken to strengthen the international investment, so that to achieve sustainable development.

Sharing the best practices related to promoting investments in sectors related or affected by Covid-19 pandemic, and work collectively to identify key areas that need further investment, such as essential medical supplies and equipment, as well as the sustainable agricultural production.

Encourage investment in new production capacities to produce medical supplies and personal protective equipment, and encourage government agencies to work with companies and investors to identify the investment opportunities and relevant activities.

Encouraging consultation with the private sector regarding its necessary needs, as part of the policy-making process related to foreign direct investment, as well as encouraging technical support programs to be provided to the developing and least developed countries, so that to enhance investment.

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Last Modified 16 May 2020