India expressed willingness to affix Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a replacement economic initiative led by the United States. The US clarified that IPEF isn’t a trade agreement. Thus, it neither seeks to switch the 11-nation CPTPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) nor the RCEP.
The negotiations for the IPEF began on May 24. The primary focus of the negotiation was on four main pillars — trade, supply chain resiliency, clean energy, and taxes.
At the launch of IPEF, PM Modi said that India will work together with other IPEF countries to make an inclusive Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. He expressed confidence that IPEF will cause peace and prosperity within the Indo-Pacific region.
One of the roles of IPEF within the Indo-Pacific is going to be to line standards for the digital economy and cross-border data flows. India has strong differences with the U.S. and its allies like Japan in this area. India’s data protection Bill makes data localization mandatory. Thus, officials from India said that they’ll keenly consider the negotiations on the IPEF and take a call.
IPEF also seeks to tackle inflation through resilient supply chains, promoting investments in clean energy, and ensuring effective tax regimes to tackle concealment and corruption.
However, IPEF’s contours are yet to be formally specified. IPEF follows a U.S. plan for a Blue Dot Network, launched in 2019, which is dropped at certifying infrastructure projects against a collection of standards.