Singapore welcomes proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with US: PM Lee

WASHINGTON: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) proposed by the US must be “inclusive” and supply “tangible benefits” to encourage wider participation, stated Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (May 12).

Singapore welcomes the proposed framework, stated Mr Lee, talking at an engagement with the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.

The IPEF goals to set regional requirements for cooperation, and consists of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. The new US financial technique for the Indo-Pacific is predicted to be formally launched when US President Joe Biden visits Japan later this month.

President Biden had beforehand introduced at a digital summit with ASEAN in October 2021 that Washington would begin talks about growing the IPEF.

“It needs to be inclusive and provide tangible benefits to encourage wider participation and it should cover cooperation in areas like digital and green economies and infrastructure because these issues will resonate strongly in the region,” stated Mr Lee in the course of the engagement on Thursday.

“We encourage greater ASEAN participation in the IPEF and we hope the US will directly invite and engage ASEAN member states in this endeavour.”

This engagement is a part of the Mr Lee’s five-day working go to to Washington DC from May 10 to May 14 to attend the ASEAN-US Special Summit hosted by President Biden.

The Summit was initially scheduled for March. This is the second Special Summit between the US president and ASEAN leaders since 2016.

Including Mr Lee, eight ASEAN leaders are anticipated to participate within the summit. Myanmar’s chief was excluded, in line with ASEAN’s earlier place, and the Philippines is represented by its international affairs secretary following its latest presidential election.

President Biden has promised to spend US$150 million on ASEAN infrastructure, safety, pandemic preparedness and different efforts.

This features a US$40 million funding in infrastructure meant to assist decarbonise ASEAN’s energy provide, US$60 million in maritime safety, and US$15 million in well being funding to help in early detection of COVID-19 and different respiratory pandemics.

The US President welcomed leaders from Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines for dinner on the White House on Thursday night, forward of their assembly with him on Friday the place they’re anticipated to change views on regional and world points.

Digital commerce, commerce facilitation and provide chain resilience, in addition to capability constructing, ought to “ideally” be lined below the US’ proposal for the IPEF, stated Mr Lee.

Digital commerce can harness ASEAN’s rising digital potential by facilitating cross-border information flows and supporting staff and small-to-medium enterprises within the digital economic system, stated Mr Lee.

This may also benefit from ASEAN’s ongoing work on digital commerce requirements, information and digital utilities, and funds, he added.

“A resilient supply chain is fundamentally underpinned by strong connectivity, so that there is early detection and timely responses to potential disruptions,” stated Mr Lee.

He added that Singapore welcomes collaboration to construct digital capabilities, and to strengthen regional connectivity and logistics infrastructure.

“And I am glad that we have discussions ongoing now to link the ASEAN Single Window to the United States.”

The ASEAN Single Window is a regional platform that permits the digital change of border trade-related paperwork amongst member states, selling financial integration.

Singapore additionally helps regional human capital growth, together with by the US-Singapore Third Country Training Programme, which was most not too long ago renewed in September 2021, he stated.

Mr Lee additionally met with Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on the sidelines of the Summit on Thursday.

The two leaders affirmed “excellent”  bilateral relations and mentioned doable areas to additional improve bilateral cooperation, stated the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Mr Lee additionally congratulated Prime Minister Chinh on the profitable opening of the thirty first Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.

Both leaders look ahead to commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the institution of diplomatic relations and tenth anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between Singapore and Vietnam subsequent 12 months, PMO stated.

On Thursday, Mr Lee and the opposite ASEAN leaders have been additionally hosted by US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to a bipartisan working lunch with Congressional Leaders.

“Both sides exchanged views on global and regional issues, as well as the future of ASEAN-US cooperation,” stated the PMO.

Mr Lee additionally inspired members of the Congress to proceed supporting the ASEAN-US agenda, particularly on commerce and funding within the area, and for ASEAN and the US to proceed exploring collaboration in new and mutually useful areas.

Singapore welcomes proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with US: PM Lee

Ang Hwee Min

Source : channelnewsasia.com

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