Singapore hopes for substantial IPEF progress through APEC

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Singapore’s deputy prime minister expressed hope on Friday that the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) talks will make significant progress at next month’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

„We are working on how we can add substance to the various pillars of IPEF… We hope to announce something within the APEC summit,” Lawrence Wong told Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies after talks with the US. Officials this week.

„In areas like supply chains, the green economy, the digital economy; these are things we’re pursuing, and we believe there will be some significant progress.”

US President Joe Biden launched the IPEF as part of efforts to increase economic engagement with Asia after his predecessor, Donald Trump, pulled out of the Pan-Pacific Trade Agreement.

Wong, who is also Singapore’s finance minister, said that achieving consensus among the 14 IPEF members could be difficult in some cases, saying Singapore’s bilateral cooperation with the US was a „pathfinder” for others to follow.

„We’ve set high standards and this could be a pathfinder, a test bed that we do together before it’s rolled out to a wider area,” he said.

Sources familiar with the plans for IPEF discussions at APEC are hopeful that countries will agree to language around the third and fourth pillars of the framework, which deal with clean energy and decarbonization and anti-corruption.

They say the first pillar of trade could prove a bridge too far to the November consensus, and talks on the second pillar involving supply chains were largely agreed in May.

READ  Two Bruneian students have visited Cambodia for the ASEAN Moving Project

The summit of the 21-member APEC forum will be held in San Francisco during the week of November 11-17.

Wong said Singapore would like to see far-reaching agreements with the US, including market access and trade liberalisation, but given its domestic political environment, the US is currently „in no mood to talk about these issues”.

„But I think we need to maintain a high ambition, and in the coming years, conditions may change.”

Report by David Branstrom; Additional reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Get license rightsOpens a new tab

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *