Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

Trade ministers to discuss the WTO and EU–US and EU–China relations

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Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend a meeting of EU trade ministers (Foreign Affairs Council) in Luxembourg on Friday 3 June 2022. The agenda items will include preparations for the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference as well as the trade relations between the EU and the United States and between the EU and China. The ministers will also exchange views on the EU’s ongoing trade agreement negotiations and the implementation of the agreements.

The Foreign Affairs Council will convene in the configuration of trade ministers in Luxembourg on 3 June. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland at the meeting.

The meeting will discuss the preparations for the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC12), which will be held in Geneva on 12–15 June, as well as EU–US and EU–China trade relations.

According to Minister Skinnari, it is important that the WTO Ministerial Conference, which has been postponed several times, will finally now be held.

“The meeting must produce results that will strengthen the World Trade Organization. Finland considers it important that the conference reach a decision on launching the WTO reform,” Skinnari says.

Trade relations between the EU and the United States will be discussed especially in light of the results of the EU–US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) meeting, which wa held in May. The TTC was set up in 2021 and its work is progressing towards concrete cooperation projects. In Finland’s view, the TTC is an important forum for promoting positive transatlantic cooperation.

The discussion on the EU–China relations is part of the preparations for the High-Level Trade and Economic Dialogue (HED) between the EU and China. Finland considers that the EU must defend its values and interests strongly. At the same time, it is important to seek cooperation with China to maintain and develop a positive agenda.

Over lunch, EU trade ministers will discuss the ongoing bilateral trade negotiations and the implementation of trade agreements.

“In the current situation, it is particularly important for the EU to succeed in concluding new trade agreements and bringing them into force rapidly. Due to the pandemic and the war started by Russia, companies need agreements to be able to open up new markets and diversify production chains,” Minister Skinnari says.

Inquiries:

Juha Niemi, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 478 1387

Ilkka-Pekka Similä, Director General, tel. +358 50 336 3856

The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi

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