India joins US-led Indo-Pacific group

Updated on Sep 10, 2022 04:59 AM IST

The statements outline an ambitious agenda which will entail greater information sharing and investment in supply chains, and more robust efforts to promote a rules-based, transparent and clean trading system.

India has not joined the first pillar on trade embedded in the IPEF at this stage in the negotiation process. (AFP)
India has not joined the first pillar on trade embedded in the IPEF at this stage in the negotiation process. (AFP)
By, Los Angeles

India has joined the supply chain, decarbonisation and infrastructure, and anti-tax and corruption pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) at the framework’s first in-person ministerial, and joined partner countries in arriving at consensual ministerial statements on each of the three pillars.

The statements outline an ambitious agenda which will entail greater information sharing and investment in supply chains, including identification of critical sectors and critical goods within critical sectors to minimise disruptions; collaboration on green technology; and more robust efforts to promote a rules-based, transparent and clean trading system.

As HT has reported on Friday, India has not joined the first pillar on trade embedded in the IPEF at this stage in the negotiation process.

On supply chains, IPEF’s 14-member countries committed to improving “transparency, diversity, security and sustainability in our supply chains to make them more resilient, robust and well-integrated”.

They recognised the importance of “fair and open markets and rules-based multilateral trading system” and that the need to secure supply chains will require an evolution in public institutions.

More specifically, IPEF countries have agreed to establish a criteria for critical sectors and goods — this will entail identifying sectors critical to national security, health and safety of citizens, and economic resilience; establish criteria to identify goods that fall within these sectors; and develop a process to “identify the related raw material inputs, manufacturing or processing capabilities, logistics facilitation and story needs”.

Partner countries have then agreed to increase resilience and investment in these critical sectors — this will involve identifying choke points within supply chains, strengthening industries and supporting investment and trade in critical sectors, among other steps.

They have also agreed to establish an information-sharing and crisis response mechanism. This will include a framework for government to government coordination, an information-sharing process through technology to facilitate exchange of data, designate national coordination points, identify mitigation practices, and sharing best practices. IPEF partners will also strengthen supply chain logistics including infrastructure.

On the third pillar — clean economy — IPEF partners, including India, have agreed to accelerate efforts in pursuit of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation and elimination, enhanced energy security and climate resilience and adaptation. To do this, they will pursue initiatives that enhance cooperation and sharing of best practices on policies, standards, incentive frameworks and infrastructure investment related to deployment of clean energy technology and expansion of clean energy capacity.

They have also agreed on the goal to reduce emissions across priority sectors, recognised the importance of sustainable land use and water solutions. IPEF, recognising the need for innovative technologies for greenhouse gas removal, has agreed to pursue provisions that will support demand and supply for carbon capture, utilisation, transport and storage across regions. And finally, the new economic framework has committed to creating incentives to facilitate the clean energy transition.

On the final pillar — fair economy — IPEF partners have recognised that “fairness, inclusiveness, transparency, rule of law, accountability” are essential to improving the investment climate and ensuring shared prosperity. To this end, they have agreed to work on anti-corruption by effectively implementing and accelerating progress on the UN Convention against Corruption, standards of the Financial Action Task Force, and as applicable, the OECD anti bribery framework. On taxation, IPEF members have agreed to pursue exchange of information between tax authorities in line with international standards, and support global and regional efforts to improve tax administration, among other steps.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prashant Jha is the Washington DC-based US correspondent of Hindustan Times. He is also the editor of HT Premium. Jha has earlier served as editor-views and national political editor/bureau chief of the paper. He is the author of How the BJP Wins: Inside India's Greatest Election Machine and Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.

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