Los Angeles [US], September 10 (ANI): The first-in-person Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) ministerial summit in Los Angeles concluded on Friday with a consensus from the partner countries on ministerial statements for each of the four IPEF pillars: Trade; Supply Chains; Clean Economy; and Fair Economy.
Secretary of Commerce Gina M Raimondo and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai hosted counterparts from the 13 Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) partner countries - representing over 40 per cent of the global economy - at the first official in-person Ministerial meeting.
The ministers had positive and constructive discussions and announced a substantial milestone in their pursuit of a high standard and inclusive economic framework, the US Department of Commerce stated in a press release.
The Framework will advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness for the partner economies.
Through IPEF, the partners aim to contribute to cooperation, stability, prosperity, development, and peace within the region, the statement added.
The Framework will also offer tangible benefits that fuel economic activity and investment, promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth and benefit workers and consumers across the region. The 14 IPEF partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP and 28 per cent of global goods and services trade.
Our first in-person meeting has been an undeniable success, Secretary of Commerce Gina M Raimondo said in a joint statement with the US Trade representative Katherine Tai.
Raimondo said, "This week, 14 countries came together to chart a path forward that will create economic opportunity, improve labor conditions and promote sustainability for all of our economies. Just as importantly, this ministerial gave us an opportunity to show that we can deliver concrete and tangible economic benefits for partner countries while pursuing an inclusive and high standard framework at the same time.""I am proud of the progress we've made and I'm excited to continue building momentum in this effort," he added.
US trade representative Katherine Tai said that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) presented an opportunity to deepen the partnerships with member countries and will also address the challenges collectively.
She said that the IPEF also allows working together to build a platform to address future challenges and bring sustainable and equitable growth to the Indo-Pacific region.
"After several days of intensive discussions, we have made real progress toward that goal and I am excited to continue developing this Framework, which will unlock enormous economic value for our region and serve as a model for the rest of the world to follow," said Ambassador Katherine Tai.
IPEF, a group of 13 countries, is a multilateral economic framework. Since its launch in May launch, IPEF countries have engaged in intensive discussions to scope out each pillar of the Framework.
Among the four pillars, in the Trade Pillar, the IPEF partners will seek high-standard provisions in areas that are foundational to resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth, including labor, environment, digital economy, agriculture, transparency and good regulatory practices, competition, inclusivity, trade facilitation, and technical assistance and economic development, the US Department of Commerce said.
"The United States and the IPEF partners will seek high-standard provisions that benefit workers and ensure free and fair trade that contributes to promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth and that meaningfully contribute to environmental protection."In the Supply Chains Pillar, the countries will seek to coordinate actions to mitigate and prevent future supply chain disruptions and secure critical sectors and key products for our manufacturers.
"The United States will work with IPEF partners to identify sectors and products critical to our national security, economic resilience, and the health and safety of our citizens - and then act collectively to increase the resilience of these sectors, creating jobs and economic opportunities in key industries of the future."In the Clean Economy Pillar, the countries will seek to expand investment opportunities, spur innovation, and improve the livelihoods of citizens as the partners unlock the region's abundant clean energy resources and substantial carbon sequestration potential.
"The partners aim to advance cooperation on clean energy and climate-friendly technologies, as well as mobilize investment and promote usage of low- and zero-emissions goods and services."In the Fair Economy Pillar, the countries will seek to level the playing field for businesses and workers within partner countries by preventing and combatting corruption, curbing tax evasion, enhancing transparency, recognizing the importance of fairness, inclusiveness, the rule of law, accountability and transparency.
"By innovating and strengthening shared approaches to implementing anticorruption and tax measures, the countries will seek to improve the investment climate and boost flows of commerce, trade, and investments among our economies while advancing a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region," the release said.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Katherine Tai confirmed that India will not be joining the trade pillar.
"India is not now in the trade pillar of IPEF, Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal and I have been talking a lot. We have our bilateral structure the Trade Policy Forum, which should be meeting by the end of this year again and we covered the same issues in that bilateral channel and minister we are very close touch," Tai said.
A top official said that India stands for its independent trade policy and added that before going ahead with joining the trade pillar of IPEF New Delhi will observe the pros and cons of the binding commitments.
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday said that a robust Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is being proposed to be presented soon in Parliament, and India will take its decisions on different aspects based on the national interest.
Goyal said that India is a big provider of technology services to US companies and a robust framework is being proposed to be presented to Parliament soon. "India is looking to have contemporary and modern laws in the digital world while maintaining high levels of data privacy," he added.
He said that within the framework, "we can begin engaging among member countries on different areas of mutual interest. India will take its decisions on different aspects of the IPEF framework based on our national interest.""We had a useful engagement among member countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. Officials have worked to prepare the ground for useful interactions between ministers. By tomorrow we hope to create a robust framework," Goyal said.
The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was launched jointly by the USA and other partner countries of the Indo-Pacific region on May 23, 2022, in Tokyo.
India joined the IPEF and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the launch event along with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and other leaders from partner countries. Previously, virtual Ministerial Meetings were held immediately after the launch on May 23 and thereafter from July 26-27, 2022.
India is committed to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region and would work towards deepening economic cooperation among partners for the growth and prosperity of the region. The framework is inclusive and allows flexibility to partner countries to associate with pillars based on their respective priorities, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
In May 2022, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Viet Nam began the process to establish the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.
Ambassador Tai and Secretary Raimondo held the first virtual Ministerial in May shortly after the official launch. They also held a virtual Ministerial in July, which reaffirmed their collective goal to pursue ongoing and intensified engagements with IPEF partner countries. (ANI)