Tokyo WION Reports: Launch of Indo-Pacific Economic Forum sets tone for Quad Summit


The Japanese capital of Tokyo is set to host the second in-person meeting of Quad member countries and leaders from India, the United States and Australia have already arrived in the host country. US President Joe Biden was the first to arrive while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived on Monday morning. Newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also attend the meeting following his election victory with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida welcoming the leaders.

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This is the fourth meeting between the countries in two years and the tone for this year’s meeting has already been set with the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum. The framework will start with 13 members who together represent 40% of the world’s gross domestic product.

The members that will be part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum are United States, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam , New Zealand and Brunei. This is seen as an alternative to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest trading bloc established earlier by China.

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In fact, 11 out of 13 countries are already part of the RCEP framework.

However, the IPEF is not a traditional free trade agreement because the United States is not in favor of it and the Biden administration has been under a lot of pressure when it comes to signing these types of agreements. . Therefore, the framework will mainly focus on deepening economic integration.

China did not take the developments well and criticized the new framework while calling it a “closed group”. China has also been quite critical of a possible deal among Quad members to use surveillance satellites in the disputed waters of the South China Sea to stop illegal fishing.

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