India to host special negotiation round for IPEF


The minister also shared with the partner nations some of India’s specific expectations under IPEF…reports Asian Lite News

India will host the next special negotiation round on three of the four pillars of the United States-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) on February 8-11 next year, the commerce and industry ministry said on Tuesday.

The three pillars are supply chain and fair economy, tax and anti corruption, and clean economy. IPEF has four pillars in all–trade, supply chain, tax and anti-corruption and clean energy.

However, during the first-ever in-person ministerial in September, India decided to join only three pillars, and opted out of the crucial trade pillar, as broad consensus had not emerged on issues pertaining to labour, environment, digital trade and public procurement. New Delhi had then decided to wait for the contours to be finalised before associating with the trade track.

As many as 14 countries are members of the IPEF that was launched jointly by the US and other partner countries of the Indo-Pacific region on the sidelines of the Quad Summit in Tokyo on May 23.

IPEF is also seen as an economic initiative to counter China’s influence in the South and Southeast Asian nations. Its partner countries represent over 40 per cent of the global economy. The first round of negotiations took place in Brisbane, Australia last week from December 10 to 15.

On Tuesday, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal took part in a virtual ministerial meeting on IPEF’s economic benefits. The meeting was attended by US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and representatives of other IPEF partner countries.

“He (Goyal) urged members to focus energy on early harvest of deliverables which can benefit all the members. He was happy to note that there seemed to be a consensus among members on setting up of an investment forum consisting of private and public sector stakeholders to encourage investment in the clean energy sector, during a recent round at Brisbane, Australia,” an official statement said.

The minister also shared with the partner nations some of India’s specific expectations under IPEF. He said that India can contribute towards supply chain resilience in sectors like pharmaceuticals and invited support from members in semiconductors, critical minerals and clean technologies including on innovative projects which can be promoted beyond IPEF in other developing countries.

India also spoke about the non-paper it submitted on ideas such as the mobilisation of financial resources for climate action at reasonable costs and the need for measures to counter terror financing.

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