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India's Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPE



  Aug 12, 2023

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and India


The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is a new economic initiative launched by the United States in May 2022. It is designed to promote economic growth, resilience, and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The IPEF is built around four pillars:
 
• Trade: The trade pillar will focus on reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade, promoting fair and equitable trade, and strengthening supply chains.
• Supply Chains: The supply chains pillar will focus on making supply chains more resilient and secure, and on promoting cooperation on critical technologies.
• Clean Economy: The clean economy pillar will focus on promoting clean energy and decarbonization, and on investing in infrastructure.
• Fair Economy: The fair economy pillar will focus on fighting corruption and tax evasion, and on promoting responsible business conduct.
 
Certainly! Here's a simplified FAQ based on the information provided in the article:
 

Q: What is the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)?

 
A: The IPEF is an arrangement involving multiple countries in the Indo-Pacific region to promote economic cooperation. Member nations are working on four pillars of agreements under the framework.
 

Q: Why is India not joining the trade pillar of IPEF?

 
A: India is hesitant to join the trade pillar due to concerns related to digital trade. The flow of digital data across borders is a sensitive issue, and India wants more clarity on the direction of negotiations, especially from the United States.
 

Q: What is India's status in the IPEF trade pillar?

A: Currently, India holds an 'observer' status in the IPEF trade pillar. This means that India is not directly participating in the negotiations, but it has the option to join after seeing the final agreements.
 

Q: Why is digital trade a concern for India?

 
A: India is cautious about agreeing to the free flow of data across borders, which some countries, including the US, are advocating for. India's new digital data protection law restricts cross-border data transfers except to countries not blacklisted by the government.
 

Q: Why is India hesitant to join the negotiations now?

 
A: India decided last year not to join the trade pillar initially to wait for the final text of agreements. Convincing stakeholders of the importance of joining after opting out earlier can be challenging.
 

Q: Who are the members of IPEF?

 
A: There are 14 member countries in IPEF, including the US, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
 

Q: What is India's approach to digital personal data protection?

 
A: India recently passed a digital personal data protection Bill that allows cross-border data transfers, except to blacklisted countries. The Bill aims to promote secure data flows and responsible use of emerging technologies.
 

Q: What does the US text of the trade pillar mention about digital trade?

 
A: The US text mentions promoting secure cross-border data flows, sustainable growth of the digital economy, and responsible development and use of emerging technologies.
 

Q: What is India's future plan regarding the IPEF trade pillar?

 
A: The commerce department in India will resume consultations between different government departments before making a final decision on whether to join the trade pillar or not.
 
In essence, India is cautious about joining the trade pillar of IPEF due to concerns related to digital trade, and it aims to carefully consider the implications of digital data flow across borders before committing to the negotiations.
 
The IPEF is a flexible framework, and countries are not required to join all four pillars. India joined all three but not the trade pillar.


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