India on Monday expressed its commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region and pitched for deepening of economic engagement among partners with a view to achieve the goal of continued growth, peace and prosperity, an official statement said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in an event here at the launch of discussions for an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
Speaking at the launch ceremony, he said the announcement of IPEF is a declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific region an engine of global economic growth.
India has historically been at the centre of trade flows in the Indo-Pacific region, having the world's oldest commercial port in Lothal, Gujarat.
The prime minister underlined the need for finding a common and creative solutions to tackle economic challenges of the Indo-Pacific region.
Modi also expressed India's commitment towards working with all countries of the region for an IPEF which is both inclusive and flexible.
He said that the foundation of resilient supply chains must be 3Ts – Trust, Transparency and Timeliness. “I believe the framework will help strengthen these three pillars and this will put the Indo-Pacific region on the path to progress, peace and prosperity,” he said.
The event in Tokyo marked the launch of discussions for IPEF. Besides the in-person participation of Biden and Kishida, the leaders of Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam joined the event virtually.
IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership among participating countries, with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific, the external affairs ministry said.
“With the launch of the process today to establish the IPEF, partner countries will begin discussions focusing on strengthening economic cooperation and achieving shared goals,” the ministry said.
The statement further said India is keen to collaborate with partner countries under the IPEF and work towards advancing regional economic connectivity, integration and boosting trade and investment within the region.
The IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership amongst participating countries with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
US President Joseph R Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio were also present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Modi, who is in Japan on a two-day visit to attend a summit of the Quad leaders at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, penned an op-ed on the vibrant relations between India and Japan in the Yomiuri Shimbun.
Image source: AP