Union Minister Piyush Goyal’s visit to the United States has culminated in a historic achievement for India as it joined the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) partners in signing the IPEF Supply Chain Resilience Agreement. The agreement has been signed by India, the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Agreement is poised to revolutionize global supply chains.
India, along with the US and partner nations, aims to fortify and strengthen global supply chains, reducing dependence on single sources, especially post the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IPEF partners seek to build a collective understanding of significant supply chain risks, enhance crisis coordination, and improve responses to disruptions.
Speaking at the event, Goyal emphasized enhanced collaboration to realize the collective aims of the IPEF, particularly on the need for mobilizing affordable financing for clean economy transition and for enhancing technology cooperation. He also urged early implementation of the envisaged cooperative work under IPEF, including on bio-fuels alliance suggested by India.
The Agreement focuses on ensuring that MSMEs benefit from resilient supply chains and aims to upskill and reskill workers, ensuring a skilled workforce in critical sectors. Further, the Ministers from IPEF partner countries also had productive discussions on the substantial progress made by the IPEF partners on Pillar-III (Clean Economy) and Pillar-IV (Fair Economy).
On the sidelines of the IPEF Ministerial, Goyal held bilateral meetings with Ms. Gina Raimondo (United States Secretary of Commerce), Mr. Tengku Zafrul Aziz (Minister of International Trade & Industry, Ministry of International Trade & Industry, Malaysia), and Dr. (HC) IR. Airlangga Hartarto (Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Republic of Indonesia).
India becoming a part of the IPEF Supply Chain Resilience Agreement also translates into a lesser dependence of the world on China. Globally, businesses have more than often relied on the Eastern superpower for their manufacturing and supply chain needs. The agreement is seen as a strategic move to counter massive reliance on China, particularly after severe supply disruptions caused by the COVID-19 shock. This will also turn the focus on India for the fulfillment of these needs.
Additionally, as emphasized by Goyal, the agreement will be a pivotal step in fortifying global supply chains and fostering adaptability, stability, and sustainability. India’s participation in IPEF, initiated in Tokyo last year, is expected to have far-reaching implications for the country’s economic stability and global trade relationships.