New Delhi: A day ahead of the Quad Summit, India on Monday joined a US-led initiative to set up an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) to bind partner countries to achieve common goals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that New Delhi will work towards making it an “inclusive and flexible” structure to pave the way for peace and prosperity in the region.
Rolling out the IPEF, US President Joe Biden said 12 countries have joined the new initiative and that the US is deeply invested in the Indo-Pacific. He also spoke of commitment for a long haul to championing its vision for a positive future for the region.
In his comments during the launch ceremony, Prime Minister Modi said that the announcement of IPEF is a declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific an engine of global economic growth and called for finding common and creative solutions to tackle the economic challenges of the region.
He also underlined that the foundation of resilient supply chains must be based on 3Ts – trust, transparency and timeliness.
“India will work with all of you to build an inclusive and flexible Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. I believe that there should be three main pillars of resilient supply chains between us: trust, transparency and timeliness,” Modi said.
“I am confident that this framework will help strengthen these three pillars, and pave the way for development, peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
The IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership amongst participating countries with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region besides cooperating on anti-corruption efforts.
The rollout of the IPEF came as part of Washington’s efforts to push forward a strong economic policy for the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s aggressive strategy on trade in the region.
The countries that have joined the US-led initiative are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“The IPEF is a declaration of our collective will to make the region an engine of global economic growth. I thank President Biden very much for this important initiative,” Modi said, adding, “The Indo-Pacific region is the centre of manufacturing, economic activity, global trade and investment. History is witness to the fact that India has been a major centre for centuries in the trade flows of the Indo-Pacific region.”