Tokyo: US President Joe Biden, along with representatives from partner countries, on Monday launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) for prosperity, an initiative that also includes India.
The launch also saw the presence of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Indian PM Narendra Modi as well as the virtual presence of leaders of other partners countries including Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The framework aimed to set the stage for deeper engagement among the nations of the region that are witnessing fast economic growth and where China is expanding its clout, said the Kyodo News Agency.
“IPEF is a 21st century economic arrangement designed to tackle 21st century economic challenges, ranging from setting the rules of the road for the digital economy, to ensuring secure and resilient supply chains, to helping make the kinds of major investments necessary in clean energy infrastructure and the clean energy transition, to raising standards for transparency, fair taxation, and anti-corruption,” a statement released by the White House said.
“In order to prepare our economies for the future, we are launching the process to establish the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity,” quoted the joint statement released following the launch.
“Through this initiative, we aim to contribute to cooperation, stability, prosperity, development, and peace within the region” it added.
Biden said, “we are here today for one simple purpose: The future of the 21st century economy is going to be largely written in the Indo-Pacific — in our region”.
“The Indo-Pacific covers half the population of the world and more than 60 percent of the global GDP.”
“And the nations represented here today, and those who will join this framework in the future, are signing up to work toward an economic vision that will deliver for all peoples — all our peoples: the vision for an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, connected and prosperous, and secure as well as resilient, where our economic — where economic growth is sustainable and is inclusive,” the US president said.
“We are writing the new rules for the 21st century economy that are going to help all of our countries’ economies grow faster and fairer.”
The IPEF currently has the following initial signatories: the US, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Earlier on Monday, Biden also met Fumio to advance bilateral cooperation on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including North Korea’s missile programme.
He is on a three-day trip that marks the first of his tour to Japan as the US President. He had earlier visited the Asian country in 2013 as the Vice President of then US President Barack Obama’s administration.
On Tuesday, Biden will be joined by other members of the Quad for its second in-person summit meeting as the four major Indo-Pacific democracies seek to advance their commitment to a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’.