INDO PACIFIC ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK LAUNCHED TO COUNTER CHINA's INFLUENCE
The United States has launched IPEF a day before the QUAD Summit to be held in Tokyo Japan on 24 May 2022 to counter China's influences in the pacific area. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi also joined President Biden of the USA along with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The event also saw the virtual presence of leaders of other partner countries such as Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The new economic front will also include 7 South Asian Countries.
The IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership amongst 14 participating countries including the US with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. Modi said that the IPEF is a declaration of collective will to make the region an engine of global economic growth.
The Indo-Pacific covers half the population of the world and more than 60 percent of the world's GDP.
The Indo-Pacific region has been the center of manufacturing, economic activity, global trade, and investment for centuries, India is proud to say that the world's oldest port was in Lothal in. the state of Gujarat. It is now very pertinent to seek common and creative solutions for the economic challenges of the region.
A joint statement said that the member countries share a mutual commitment and acknowledge that their economic policy interests are intertwined and deepening economic engagement among partners is crucial for continued growth, peace, and prosperity. They are launching collective discussions toward future negotiations and identified four pillars under the IPEF.
1. Trade: We seek to build high-standard, inclusive, free, and fair trade commitments and develop new and creative approaches in trade and technology policy that advance a broad set of objectives that fuel economic activity and investment, and promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth and benefits workers and consumers. We will promote the digital economy also.
2. Supply Chains: We are committed to improving transparency, diversity, security, and sustainability in our supply chains to make them more resilient and well-integrated. We seek to coordinate crisis response measures, expand cooperation to better prepare for and mitigate the effects of disruptions to better ensure the business continuity, improve logistical efficiency and support and ensure access to key raw and processed materials, semiconductors, critical minerals, and clean energy technology.
3. Clean Energy, Decarbonization, and infrastructure: We plan to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies to decarbonize our economies and build resilience to climate impacts. This involves deepening cooperation on technologies, mobilizing finance, including concessional finance, and seeking ways to improve competitiveness and enhance connectivity by supporting the development of sustainable and durable infrastructure and by providing technical assistance.
4. Tax and Anti-corruption: We are committed to promoting fair competition by enacting and enforcing effective and robust tax, anti-money laundering, and anti-bribery regimes in line with existing multilateral obligations, standards, and agreements to curb tax evasion and corruption in the Indo-Pacific region. This involves sharing expertise and seeking ways to support capacity building necessary to advance accountable and transparent systems.
Framework partners will be engaging in such discussions on various ways to strengthen economic cooperation to achieve these goals and invite other interested Indo-Pacific partners to join IPEF
The Ministry of External Affairs stated that India is keen to collaborate with partner countries under the IPEF and work towards advancing regional economic connectivity, integration and boosting trade and investment within the region.
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