IPEF meeting was fruitful, says Union Minister Piyush Goyal as India stays out of trade policy pillar

India has joined three key pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), prompting Union Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal to call India’s first in-person ministerial summit US-led initiative of “inclusive and successful”.

However, India chose to stay out of the crucial trade pillar. Goyal said the outlines of the framework — particularly on the required environmental, labor, digital trade and government procurement commitments — are still emerging.

Pointing out that India had engaged very comprehensively in all the different streams of discussion, Goyal said that on three of the four pillars related to supply chains, taxation and anti-corruption and anti-corruption energy, India was comfortable with the outcome and the text and joined the statement.

The Union minister also said that India was strengthening its own digital framework and laws, especially on privacy and data. He added that while continuing to engage in the trade component of the IPEF, the Indian side will wait for a broader consensus on certain aspects among all nations.

“We need to see what benefits member countries will derive and whether conditionalities on aspects such as the environment may discriminate against developing countries that have the imperative to provide low-cost and affordable energy to meet to the needs of our growing economy,” said Goyal.

IPEF has 14 members – Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States. Goyal said he was confident that together the 14-member group “will set the rules for trade between countries that believe in fair play, transparency and rules-based trade in the future.”

Goyal held bilateral meetings with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, US Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo and Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell on the sidelines of the IPEF meeting in Los Angeles.

“Our trade and investment ties have been strengthened with the signing of the Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement. We discussed ways to further boost bilateral trade and cooperation within the framework of IPEF,” he said. he tweeted.

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