India renounces to join the commercial pillar of the IPEF, to wait for the final outlines


India has decided to join the three pillars of the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) – supply chains, taxation and anti-corruption and clean energy – while disengaging of the commercial pillar for now.

Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, who was in Los Angeles to attend IPEF’s first formal in-person ministerial meeting on September 8-9, said the decision was made because until At present, in the context of trade, a broader consensus had not emerged on certain issues. such as the environment, labor and public procurement.

“On a pillar that primarily deals with trade, the contours of the framework, in particular the required commitments on environment, labour, digital trade, public procurement, are some areas where a broader consensus has yet to emerge on all nations. We have yet to see what benefits member countries will derive and whether any conditionalities, for example on the environment, can discriminate against developing countries, which have been imperative to provide low-cost and affordable energy to meet to the needs of a growing economy,” said Goyal. said at a press conference after the conclusion of the IPEF ministerial meeting.

“We are also in the process of strengthening the digital framework and laws, especially with regard to privacy and data,” the minister said, adding that India, while continuing to embark on the commercial path of the IPEF, will wait until the definitive contours are decided before. finally partner with the commercial track.

During this time, officials will participate in discussions with an open mind and in the best interests of the Indian people and businesses, he said.

Apart from India and the United States, the other 12 members of IPEF are Australia, Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. All other member countries have joined the four pillars: trade, supply chains, clean economy and fair economy.

The IPEF was launched jointly by the United States and other partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region on the sidelines of the Quad Summit in Tokyo on May 23. It aims to strengthen the economic partnership between participating countries with the aim of building resilience, sustainability and inclusiveness. , economic growth, equity and competitiveness in the region. The IPEF is also seen as an economic initiative to counter China’s influence in South and Southeast Asian countries. IPEF partner countries represent over 40% of the global economy

It is the first plurilateral agreement that India has agreed to join after leaving the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement at the last minute in 2019.

“We believe that certain responsibilities of the developed world, developed countries should also be an integral part of such an agreement. And this is an issue that will require deeper engagement and more consultation,” Goyal said.

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