Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday will attend an event in Tokyo where US President Joe Biden will launch the ambitious Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), an initiative aimed at deeper cooperation among like-minded countries in areas such as clean energy, supply-chain resilience and digital trade. Modi left for Japan on Sunday evening primarily to attend the second in-person summit of the Quad leaders on May 24.
The prime minister is also scheduled to hold separate meetings on Monday with a number of leading corporate honchos, including NEC Corporation chairman Nobuhiro Endo, Uniqlo president Tadashi Yanai, Suzuki Motor Corporation adviser Osamu Suzuki and Softbank Group Corporation board director Masayoshi Son. Modi's agenda on the first day of his visit to Tokyo also includes a roundtable with Japanese business leaders and an interaction with the Indian community.
The rollout of the IPEF by Biden is expected to send across a signal that the US is focused on pushing forward a strong economic policy for the Indo-Pacific to counter China's aggressive strategy on trade in the region. At a media briefing on Thursday, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has received the details of the IPEF.
"We have received details of this. And we are examining it. At this point, that's all I have to say. I would not be in a position to prejudge what might happen in Tokyo or in future, but as I said, we are looking into the initiative," he said. It is learnt that a number of countries, including India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, may join the IPEF.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday said the IPEF is designed to create "high-standard approaches" to the digital economy, to the clean energy transition, to diverse and resilient supply chains and to open and transparent economic governance. Talking to the media, he also clarified that the IPEF is not a security arrangement.
"No, it's not it's not a security arrangement. It is an economic arrangement focused around the further integration of Indo-Pacific economies, setting of standards and rules, particularly in new areas like the digital economy, and also trying to ensure that there are secure and resilient supply chains," Sullivan said."I will hold a bilateral meeting with President Joseph Biden, where we will discuss further consolidation of our multi-faceted bilateral relations with USA. We will also continue our dialogue on regional developments and contemporary global issues," Modi said in a statement. The prime minister will also hold separate bilateral meetings with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and newly-elected Australian PM Anthony Albanese.