President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau for 25 minutes from 10:00 a.m. today. The two leaders exchanged ideas on issues of mutual interest, including the upcoming election of the World Trade Organization’s next Director-General, cooperation in response to COVID-19 and collaboration in the multilateral arena.
President Moon said, “Korea’s Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee is a well-rounded candidate who possesses expertise in the trade sector, political leadership and a network that she established as our incumbent trade minister.” The President went on to describe Minister Yoo as the most qualified candidate to coordinate the sharply divergent interests of the advanced and developing nations and successfully carry out reform of the WTO, before asking for Canada’s support. Canada is part of the Ottawa group, a subgroup of the WTO.
The Canada-led Ottawa Group is a forum that discusses reforming the WTO and other issues and comprises a dozen “middle powers” that include Korea, the European Union, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway and Brazil.
Prime Minister Trudeau praised Minister Yoo’s ability and experience to date and wished her success in the final round.
President Moon expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Trudeau for sending a video message for an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. The President noted how – amid the recent resurgence of COVID-19 – Prime Minister Trudeau has implemented strong countermeasures internally while leading international cooperation in response to the pandemic. The President expressed his hope that Canada’s COVID-19 situation can be brought under control as soon as possible.
The two leaders agreed to continue close communication and cooperation on various multilateral stages such as the WTO and OECD as the two countries are strategic partners and like-minded countries in the international arena.