India signs agreement with IPEF members to reduce dependence on China

New Delhi: India has signed an agreement with the US and 12 other members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) to reduce its dependence on China and mitigate risks of economic disruptions from supply chain shocks, the commerce ministry said on Wednesday.

The agreement, which was signed by union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal and US trade secretary Gina Raimondo in San Francisco, also provides benefits such as a potential shifting of production centres in critical sectors, and mitigating the risk of economic disruptions from supply-chain shocks. It is an attempt by IPEF member nations to decrease their dependency on China and prepare for future supply-chain challenges.

“India joins the US and 12 other IPEF partners to ink the IPEF supply chain resilience agreement that will fortify and strengthen global supply chains and foster adaptability, stability and sustainability,” Goyal wrote on X, formerly Twitter. The minister also urged early implementation of the envisaged cooperative work under IPEF, including on a bio-fuels alliance suggested by India. According to the commerce ministry, Goyal held discussions on the substantial progress made by IPEF partners on Pillar-III (Clean Economy) and Pillar-IV (Fair Economy).

Other potential benefits of the pact include supply-chain diversification, mobilisation of investments, deeper integration of India in global value chains, support to MSMEs, and the creation of a seamless regional trade ecosystem that would facilitate the flow of Indian products, the ministry added.

Goyal also held meetings with Gina Raimondo, Malaysia’s trade minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, and Indonesia’s economic affairs minister) Airlangga Hartarto on the sidelines of the IPEF meet.

“The minister discussed bilateral collaboration on trade, commerce and investment, enhanced business engagements, WTO matters, and other issues of mutual interest. During the interaction with his counterparts from ASEAN countries, the minister suggested expedited conclusion of the AITIGA (ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement) review,” the official statement said.

IPEF was launched in Tokyo by the US and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region on 23 May 2022. The group also includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Updated: 15 Nov 2023, 08:22 PM IST

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