Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan gave a keynote address at the 2020 APEC CEO Dialogues Malaysia 2020, which were streamed live on 19-20 November.

Below are 12 excerpts from his remarks, themed, “Re-starting Asia-Pacific Growth.

  1. “Setting on goals towards a post-COVID-19 world, I will continue to build a new society by getting rid of bureaucratic sectionalism, vested interests, and the notorious habit of following past precedents while advancing bold regulatory reforms.”
  2. “The key priorities for my administration are promotion of digital transformation and realization of a green society.”
  3. “As people’s behavioral patterns shift due to COVID-19, accelerating digital transformation is crucial. I will establish an agency in charge of digital transformation to serve as a command in the government. I will thoroughly review regulations hindering digital transformation and swiftly undertake relevant reforms, unleashing the potential of the private sector.”
  4. “To realize a green society, Japan will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero, and achieve a decarbonized society, by 2050.”
  5. “We will make use of revolutionary innovations and improvements to energy resilience to create a virtuous cycle of the economy and the environment.”
  6. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light vulnerabilities in supply chains. We will press forward with enhancing the resilience of supply chains by promoting the diversification of Japanese companies’ overseas production bases, utilizing digital technologies, and helping quality infrastructure to spread and take root.”
  7. “Resumption of cross-border travel is also indispensable for economic recovery. Japan will resume global economic activities while thoroughly implementing preventive measures against infection.”
  8. “Amidst a risk of inward-looking temptations in the face of the slump of the global economy, making rules for a free and fair global economy is critically important.”
  9. “In this spirit, under the concept of Data Free Flow with Trust, Japan will take the lead in international rule making related to digital trade, including in the WTO e-commerce negotiations that Japan co-chairs.”
  10. “While continuing to promote WTO reform, Japan will aspire for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) through the early conclusion of the RCEP agreement and, the steady implementation and expansion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as next year’s chair.”
  11. “APEC is a crucial framework promoting the liberalization of trade and investment and the strengthening of connectivity, in accordance with international rules, within the Asia-Pacific region.”
  12. “Japan will, together with APEC, aim to realize a sustainable economy and society that is resilient against all kinds of crises, where all people flourish and reap the benefit of economic growth.”