The Business Times

Singapore ‘glad’ progress made on US-led Indo-Pacific economic pact: Gan Kim Yong

Sharon See
Published Sat, Sep 10, 2022 · 12:46 AM

SINGAPORE is glad that good progress has been made on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) since it was launched in May, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Friday (Sep 9).

“We look forward to working with IPEF partners to develop tangible benefits for our workers, businesses and communities, such as projects in the digital and green economies,” Gan said, following the IPEF’s meeting in Los Angeles.

This Asia-Pacific trade initiative was launched in early May during US President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan. The White House had said then that the framework would focus on 4 key pillars - trade, supply chains, clean economy and fair economy - to establish “high-standard commitments” that will deepen Washington’s economic engagement in the region.

The first in-person ministerial meeting of the IPEF was hosted by US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Collectively, the 14 members of the IPEF represent over 40 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product, and 28 per cent of global goods and services trade.

He added that Singapore will continue to closely collaborate with the United States and other IPEF partners on this “important part of our regional economic initiative”.

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Held over 2 days, the meeting was attended by representatives of all 14 participating countries; Fiji is the latest addition to the group.

According to a statement, the US Department of Commerce noted that the ministers had positive and constructive discussions, and announced a substantial milestone in their pursuit of a high-standard and inclusive economic framework.

“(The) 14 countries came together to chart a path forward that will create economic opportunity, improve labour conditions, and promote sustainability for all of our economies,” said Raimondo.

“Just as importantly, this ministerial gave us an opportunity to show that we can deliver concrete and tangible economic benefits for partner countries while pursuing an inclusive and high standard framework at the same time. I am proud of the progress we’ve made and I’m excited to continue building momentum in this effort.”

Tai added that the IPEF will “unlock enormous value” for the region and serve as a model for the rest of the world to follow.

At the conclusion of the Senior Officials and Ministerial meetings, the 14 partners reached consensus on ministerial statements for each of the 4 IPEF pillars.

“The framework will advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness for our economies,” said the Commerce Department. “Through IPEF, the partners aim to contribute to cooperation, stability, prosperity, development and peace within the region. The framework will also offer tangible benefits that fuel economic activity and investment, promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and benefit workers and consumers across the region.” 

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