The 14 Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) members have reached a consensus on three crucial initiatives on supply chains, clean energy transitions and the clean economy which would drive them to the top on standards, transparency, inclusivity and innovation, US President Joe Biden has said. The IPEF comprises Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States. It was launched in May 2022 at the initiative of Biden. India was represented by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal for the event.
“Put simply, my colleagues and I are driving a race to the top among nations and in the Indo-Pacific, driving nations to the top on standards, transparency, inclusivity and innovation,” Biden said on Thursday in his remarks at a special event he hosted for IPEF nations. “And together, we’re going to be forging a better future, one where workers get a fair shot and a fair share of the value they create, where high standards and sustainable growth win out where we harness the full power and potential of our people,” Biden said. He said the partner nations of the (IPEF) still have more work to do, but they made substantial progress, he said.
“Today, we’re announcing progress on the important initiative that we proposed with 13 of my colleagues here,” he said. ” Biden said that the IPEF has reached a consensus on three issues. “First, we signed the first of its kind supply chain agreement to help identify supply chain bottlenecks before they become the kind of disruptions we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw what happened then in the United States and elsewhere, but the United States’ semiconductor supply chains dried up in Asia and the United States, a lot of it shut down,” Biden said. “Second, we’ve concluded an agreement to accelerate the clean energy transition in the Indo-Pacific region, including by enabling greater US and private sector investment in clean energy, innovation and infrastructure in our partner countries,” the US President said.
He said attracting private sector investment and government investment is hard for many of these countries that have great ideas and great opportunities. He mentioned solar investments in the Philippines, offshore wind in Thailand and joint investments between the United States and India on energy storage as examples of such opportunities. “Third, we’ve concluded an agreement to combat corruption and improve tax administration to make sure that our trade and investment are clean and transparent and private companies don’t have any worry about their investments being used properly,” Biden said. “But as I’ve said, we have more work to do. We made progress in high standard trade rules that include strong labour and environmental standards,” he said.
Biden said government investment is not enough. “We need to mobilise private investment and all the steps are going to help unlock this private investment, which is a necessary ingredient for success and rapid success in the area we’re talking about,” he said. In his remarks, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan said the IPEF negotiations have made significant progress. “Japan attaches importance to the IPEF. From the strategic perspective of strengthening economic order in the Indo-Pacific. IPEF demonstrates the proactive commitment of the United States to the region and we very much welcome the responsible posture taken by the United States. It is a framework essential for the sustainable economic growth of the region, precisely designed to reflect the needs of today,” he said.