A joint statement was given by at least 13 countries which include India, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam wherein they envisaged a “secure” Indo Pacific region by “deeply engaging” with each other in terms of economic interests. Trade, supply chains, corruption, clean energy, and tax are some of the shared domains that all these countries resolve to focus on together.
“The pandemic has emphasized the importance of strengthening economic competitiveness and cooperation and securing critical supply chains, while stimulating job growth and improving economic opportunities, including for our workers, women, medium- and small enterprises, and our societies’ most vulnerable groups,” a joint statement said.
The countries launched an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework which they said is aimed to utilize the best technology, promote innovation, participate in the digital economy, justly transition energy systems, achieve energy security, and tackle the climate crisis in a manner that produces equitable, inclusive growth and improves socio-economic welfare.
“We invite participation from additional Indo-Pacific partners that share our goals, interests, and ambitions for the region. We are committed to collaborating with our framework partners in a manner that acknowledges the importance of technical assistance and capacity building, allows us to maintain a flexible approach, and delivers tangible benefits for our peoples,” the statement said.
About the new trade framework, it said that the forum seeks to build high-standard, inclusive, free, and fair trade commitments and develop new and creative approaches to trade and technology policy. “Such policies will advance a broad set of objectives that fuel economic activity and investment, promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and benefit workers and consumers. Our efforts include, but are not limited to, cooperation in the digital economy,” said the statement.
Amid logistical challenges given the Russia Ukraine war, they said that forum is committed to improving “transparency, diversity, security, and sustainability in our supply chains to make them more resilient and well-integrated”.
They added that all these countries will seek to coordinate crisis response measures besides expanding cooperation to better prepare for and mitigate the effects of disruptions. All members unanimously have agreed on access to key raw and processed materials, semiconductors, critical minerals, and clean energy technology.
For the clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructural domain, they have pledged to mobilize finances, “including concessional finance”. It added that the forum envisions to “promote fair competition by enacting and enforcing the effective and robust tax, anti-money laundering, and anti-bribery regimes”. It plans to do so by adapting to anti-corruption policies used by the member states.