Jakarta (ANTARA) - The 14 partners of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) have announced the conclusion of negotiations on a first-of-its-kind international IPEF supply chain agreement at the IPEF Ministerial Meeting.

The meeting took place in Detroit, Michigan, the United States.

The agreement proposed by 14 IPEF partner countries — Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam — aims to increase the resilience, efficiency, productivity, sustainability, transparency, diversification, security, fairness, and inclusivity of their supply chains through both collaborative activities and individual actions taken by each IPEF partner.

Following the launch of the IPEF in Tokyo, Japan, on May 23, 2022, and since the release of the IPEF ministerial statements on September 9, IPEF partners have worked constructively, including through four rounds of in-person negotiations, several virtual inter-sessional meetings, and numerous bilateral meetings, said the US Department of Commerce in a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday.

According to the department, IPEF partners will undertake the necessary steps, including further domestic consultations and a legal review, to prepare a final text of the proposed IPEF supply chain agreement.

Once finalized, the proposed agreement will be subject to IPEF partners’ domestic processes for signature, followed by ratification, acceptance, or approval.

The IPEF partners are committed to working toward the early realization of the cooperation envisioned under the proposed IPEF supply chain agreement. This includes engaging with businesses and utilizing technical assistance and capacity building to increase investment in critical sectors, key goods, physical and digital infrastructure, transportation, and workforce projects.

Under the proposed supply chain agreement, IPEF partners are seeking to carry out nine efforts.

First, provide a framework to build collective understanding of significant supply chain risks, supported by each partner’s identification and monitoring of their own critical sectors and key goods.

Second, improve crisis coordination and response to supply chain disruptions and work together to support the timely delivery of affected goods during a crisis.

Third, ensure that workers and businesses, especially micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, in the economies of IPEF partners benefit from resilient, robust, and efficient supply chains by identifying disruptions or potential disruptions and responding promptly, effectively, and, where possible, collectively.

Fourth, prepare businesses in the economies of IPEF partners to identify, manage, and resolve supply chain bottlenecks, including by strengthening supply chain logistics and infrastructure.

Fifth, support cooperation, mobilize investments, and promote regulatory transparency in sectors and goods critical to national security, public health and safety, or the prevention of significant or widespread economic disruptions.

Sixth, respect, promote, and realize, in good faith, labor rights in IPEF partners’ supply chains, in recognition of the essential role of workers in achieving greater supply chain resilience.

Seventh, ensure the availability of a sufficient number of skilled workers in critical sectors and key goods, including by upskilling and reskilling workers, promoting inclusivity and equal access, and increasing comparability of skills credential frameworks.

Eighth, identify opportunities for technical assistance and capacity building for strengthening IPEF partners’ supply chains.

Last, respect market principles, minimize market distortions, including unnecessary restrictions and impediments to trade, and protect business confidential information.

To support those efforts, the proposed IPEF supply chain agreement will contemplate the establishment of three new IPEF supply chain bodies to ease cooperation among IPEF partners on supply chain issues, namely IPEF Supply Chain Council, IPEF Supply Chain Crisis Response Network, and IPEF Labor Rights Advisory Board.

IPEF partners are committed to operationalizing the landmark agreement as soon as practicable, including starting preparatory work, to bolster resilient supply chains while recognizing the different economic and geographic characteristics of the partners, the US Department of Commerce said in its statement.

Related news: IPEF expected to strengthen partner countries' economic resilience

Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2023