Minister Ng advances Canadian multilateral trade priorities with Ottawa Group partners

News release

February 1, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario- Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, today chaired a virtual meeting of the Ottawa Group to discuss efforts to reform the World Trade Organization. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the WTO, also participated in the meeting at which ministers discussed possible solutions that could be advanced at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13), scheduled for February 26 to 29, 2024, to further strengthen the WTO.

At the meeting, Minister Ng emphasized the importance of engaging on trade issues that matter to our businesses, workers, and communities. Ensuring a stable and predictable environment for our businesses through the WTO and a fully functioning dispute settlement system is incredibly important, particularly in times of global economic uncertainty.

Minister Ng reaffirmed Canada’s strong commitment to working with WTO partners to advance the ratification of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies which will help protect our oceans by taking action against harmful subsidies that are depleting global fisheries resources. She encouraged her international partners to complete their ratification processes and to continue their outreach work on this issue.

Minister Ng reiterated Canada’s support for the renewal of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. The moratorium provides a tariff-free environment so businesses and consumers don’t incur greater costs when trading digital goods online.

Lastly, the Minister spoke of the importance of the group continuing to work together on other key emerging issues, including industrial policy, environmental policy, and inclusivity to strengthen global supply chains and trade predictability for the benefit of Canadians and people around the world.


“The Ottawa Group meeting was an excellent opportunity to take stock of key WTO reform priorities and discuss how we can contribute to making progress at MC13 and beyond. Canada will continue to work with our international partners to support trade that creates good jobs by fostering a stable and predictable trading environment for businesses in Canada and around the world.”

- Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development

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Shanti Cosentino
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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