India will work with Indo-Pacific partners for inclusive, flexible IPEF: PM Modi

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US President Joe Biden said in Tokyo today that 13 countries, including India, will be part of the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.

 India will work with the United States and other partners to set up an “inclusive and flexible” Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, as the country joined the new US-led trade initiative that aims to counter China’s aggressive expansion in the region.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden told a news conference alongside Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo that 13 countries will be part of the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF.

In his remarks at the launch event, PM Modi described the unveiling of IPEF as the declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific region an engine of global economic growth. Thanking Biden for the “important initiative”, he said it is necessary to find common and creative solutions to the region’s economic challenges.

“India will work with all of you for establishing an IPEF which is both inclusive and flexible,” Modi said, speaking in Hindi.

He listed trust, transparency and timeliness as the foundation of resilient supply chains. “I believe the framework will help strengthen these three pillars and this will put the Indo-Pacific region on the path to progress, peace and prosperity,” he said.

Modi noted the Indo-Pacific region has always been a centre of manufacturing, economic activities, trade and investments, and said India has historically been at the centre of trade flows in the region. He pointed out that the oldest commercial port in India was located at Lothal in his home state of Gujarat.

The event in Tokyo marked the launch of discussions for IPEF. Besides the in-person participation of Biden and Kishida, the leaders of Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam joined the event virtually.

IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership among participating countries, with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific, the external affairs ministry said.

-Hindustan Times

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