Minister Skinnari attends video conference of EU economics and finance ministers

Minister Skinnari attends video conference of EU economics and finance ministers

On 9 June, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend a video conference held by the EU economics and finance ministers.

Ministers will discuss the situation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the impacts of the coronavirus crisis on trade.

During the spring, the situation in the WTO has deteriorated, as normal work in the Organization’s headquarters in Geneva had to be discontinued due to the coronavirus crisis. The question about the WTO's role in coping with the crisis has become to the fore.

“It is important that the WTO offers a strong contribution to the recovery from the coronavirus crisis and that it promotes sustainable growth through its own efforts. Despite the current challenging situation, it is essential that the reform of the WTO be continued. The EU plays a central role in the WTO,” says Minister Ville Skinnari.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, export restrictions have been imposed all over the world but, so far, world trade has been affected by them only a little. At the same time, tariff concessions on imports have been taken into use. The European Commission estimates that international trade will fall by 10–16 per cent in the current year.

Minister Skinnari stresses that the EU must continue the promotion of open and rules-based international trade. “We need more cooperation, less closed borders. The pandemic has shown that attention should be paid to the sustainability of production chains,” the Minister continues.

Inquiries: Juha Niemi, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 478 1387, and Ilkka-Pekka Similä, Director General, tel. +358 50 336 3856.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]