• June 6, 2024

India Actively Participates in IPEF Ministerial Meeting, Eyes Strategic Economic Gains

India Actively Participates in IPEF Ministerial Meeting, Eyes Strategic Economic Gains

India Actively Participates in IPEF Ministerial Meeting, Eyes Strategic Economic Gains


India’s Participation in the IPEF Ministerial Meeting in Singapore

On June 6, 2024, an Indian delegation led by Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Shri Sunil Barthwal, participated in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Ministerial meeting in Singapore. This significant event saw the conclusion of negotiations on several crucial agreements and the signing of these agreements by IPEF members, marking a milestone in addressing contemporary economic challenges and enhancing regional economic engagement.

Substantial Progress and India’s Position

The IPEF Ministerial Statement issued on November 14, 2023, highlighted the substantial conclusion of negotiations for the Clean Economy, Fair Economy, and the overarching Agreement on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. Following this, the legal review and domestic approval processes for these agreements were completed. Today, IPEF members signed these groundbreaking agreements. However, India did not sign the agreements as its domestic approval processes are still underway, expected to conclude after the formation of the new government.

Shri Sunil Barthwal, in his intervention, highlighted the substantial progress made in establishing three cooperative bodies under the Supply Chain Agreement and Cooperative Work Programmes under the Clean Economy Agreement. He emphasized India’s role in the global supply chain, backed by its skilled workforce, abundant natural resources, and proactive government initiatives.

Clean Economy Agreement: A Path to Sustainable Future

The Agreement on Clean Economy aims to accelerate the efforts of IPEF partners towards energy security, climate resilience, and GHG emissions mitigation. It seeks innovative ways to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, promote technical cooperation, workforce development, capacity building, and research collaborations. This agreement is set to facilitate investments, concessional financing, and joint collaborative projects, particularly benefiting MSMEs in India. The Cooperative Work Programmes (CWPs) under this agreement are designed to foster collaboration on hydrogen supply chains, carbon markets, clean electricity, sustainable aviation fuel, and a just transition.

In a significant development, a new CWP led by India on “e-waste urban mining” was announced. This initiative aims to establish a sustainable e-waste management system, focusing on the efficient recovery and recycling of critical metals and minerals. Shri Barthwal emphasized India’s commitment to transitioning to a circular economy and the importance of addressing e-waste management.

Catalytic Capital Fund: Boosting Clean Economy Infrastructure

The operational launch of the IPEF Catalytic Capital Fund was another highlight. This fund aims to expand the pipeline of quality clean economy infrastructure projects in emerging and upper-middle-income economies within the IPEF. With initial grant funding of US $33 million from Australia, Japan, Korea, and the United States, the fund is expected to catalyze up to US $3.3 billion in private investment. The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), administering the fund, updated IPEF partners on several initial projects in the pipeline and discussed opportunities for concessional financing and capacity-building to attract private investment.

Investor Forum: Showcasing Indian Potential

An Investor Forum saw active participation from a business delegation led by Invest India. Over 30 Indian companies showcased investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector to top global investors like Blackrock, KKR & Co., and JP Morgan. Additionally, four Indian projects pitched their concepts under the Sustainable Infrastructure track, and ten Indian ClimateTech startups presented their business cases to the global investor community. The forum provided a unique platform for Indian startups and project proponents to network with over 100 top global investors, exploring potential collaborations and investment opportunities.

Fair Economy Agreement: Promoting Transparency and Fairness

The Agreement on Fair Economy aims to create a more transparent and predictable business environment, promoting greater trade and investment among member countries. It emphasizes efforts to prevent and combat corruption, improve tax transparency, and support domestic resource mobilization. Shri Barthwal welcomed the focus on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building under this agreement, highlighting India’s training program in Digital Forensics & System-Driven Risk Analysis as part of Pillar IV Technical Assistance.

IPEF Upskilling Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls

The IPEF Upskilling Initiative, launched in September 2022, has made substantial progress, supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth by providing digital skills training primarily to women and girls in IPEF partner countries. Over the past two years, 14 participating U.S. companies and the Asia Foundation have provided 10.9 million upskilling opportunities, with India receiving 4 million of these opportunities.

Future Steps and Continued Cooperation

The ministerial meeting decided to encourage the holding of the first meeting of the three Supply Chain institutional committees virtually in July 2024 and in-person in Washington, DC, later in the year. The next ministerial meeting is scheduled to be held virtually in September 2024, with plans to convene the first meeting of the IPEF Council and the Joint Commission in 2025.

 A Strategic Vision for India’s Economic Engagement

India’s active participation in the IPEF Ministerial meeting underscores its commitment to strengthening economic ties within the Indo-Pacific region. The country’s strategic vision focuses on leveraging its skilled workforce, natural resources, and proactive policies to become a major player in the global supply chain. The agreements discussed and signed at the meeting pave the way for enhanced cooperation, sustainable development, and economic prosperity in the region.

India’s focus on the Clean Economy Agreement, with initiatives like e-waste urban mining, highlights its dedication to sustainable practices and circular economy principles. The operational launch of the IPEF Catalytic Capital Fund and the active participation in the Investor Forum showcase India’s potential to attract significant investment in renewable energy and clean economy infrastructure.

The Fair Economy Agreement and the IPEF Upskilling Initiative further demonstrate India’s commitment to creating a transparent, fair, and inclusive economic environment. By focusing on capacity building, technical assistance, and digital skills training, India aims to empower its workforce and promote economic growth.

As India moves forward with its domestic approval processes for the IPEF agreements, the country remains poised to play a crucial role in shaping the economic landscape of the Indo-Pacific region. The collaborative efforts and strategic initiatives discussed at the IPEF Ministerial meeting set the stage for a prosperous and sustainable future for all member countries.

#IPEF #India #EconomicFramework #SingaporeMeeting #SunilBarthwal #CleanEconomy #FairEconomy #SupplyChain

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