New Zealand has joined with partner governments from across the Indo-Pacific region to begin the next phase of discussions towards an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
The Framework, initially proposed by US President Biden in October 2021, aims to deepen regional economic integration and boost economic cooperation to create a more prosperous and resilient Indo-Pacific.
“New Zealand and the wider region will benefit from deepened economic engagement by the US, and I’m pleased that President Biden has driven this initiative forward,” said Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.
“As the world recovers from COVID-19 it is critical that trade and economic links are opened up and structures are put in place to provide greater security against future shocks.
“The Indo-Pacific region is of the utmost importance for New Zealand’s strategic and economic interests. We see this Framework as an opportunity to enhance our strong partnerships with major regional economies as we continue to reconnect with the world.”
The Prime Minister said the initiative, as a non-traditional agreement, will provide new channels of collaboration in ways not limited to trade. In particular it will support collaboration on climate action, and will be designed with a focus on sustainability and inclusivity, principles that are fundamental for New Zealanders, she said.
“This work sits alongside our comprehensive trade and growth strategy, that includes unlocking the full benefits of the CPTPP, securing a free trade deal with the European Union and supporting businesses to grow exports across markets,” Ms Ardern said.
Trade and Export Growth Minister, Damien O’Connor said he was pleased that some of the most pressing issues facing the global economy will be discussed further between IPEF partners, including harnessing the digital economy, decarbonising our economies, making our supply chains more resilient, among others.
He said further discussions amongst participating economies will take place in due course to flesh out the details of the Framework.
The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework statement launched by participating leaders can be found here.