HomeEconomic IndicatorSingapore anticipates significant progress in the IPEF during APEC, aiming for a...

Singapore anticipates significant progress in the IPEF during APEC, aiming for a distinct outcome.

Singapore Hopes for Progress in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Discussions

Singapore’s Optimism for IPEF Progress at APEC Summit

Singapore’s deputy prime minister expressed hope for substantial progress in the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) discussions ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s finance minister, stated that efforts are underway to add substance to various aspects of IPEF, particularly in areas such as supply chains, the green economy, and the digital economy. Wong emphasized the importance of achieving significant progress in these areas.

U.S. Efforts to Engage with Asia

The IPEF was launched by U.S. President Joe Biden as part of his administration’s strategy to enhance economic engagement with Asia and compete with China. It aims to fill the void left by the withdrawal of the United States from a pan-Pacific trade pact during the previous administration. However, Asian states are seeking market-access provisions that are currently lacking in the framework.

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Singapore’s Role as a Pathfinder

Recognizing the challenges in achieving consensus among all 14 IPEF members, Singapore has positioned itself as a “pathfinder” and offered to collaborate bilaterally with the United States. Wong explained that Singapore’s high standards could serve as a model for other countries to follow, ensuring that any agreements reached can be expanded to benefit the broader region.

Potential Agreements at APEC

During the upcoming APEC summit, discussions around the third and fourth pillars of the IPEF, which focus on clean energy, decarbonization, and anti-corruption measures, could lead to consensus among participating countries. However, reaching an agreement on the first pillar, which pertains to trade, may prove challenging. Negotiations on the second pillar, involving supply chains, have already made significant progress since May.

Looking Ahead

While Singapore hopes for more far-reaching agreements with the United States, including market access and trade liberalization, they acknowledge the current domestic political environment in the U.S. makes it difficult to address these issues at present. Nonetheless, Singapore remains optimistic that conditions may change in the future, allowing for the pursuit of more ambitious goals.

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About the APEC Summit

The APEC summit, consisting of 21 member economies, is scheduled to take place in San Francisco from November 11th to 17th. The summit serves as a platform for leaders to discuss regional economic issues and cooperation.

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