The Korea Times - 10 July 2023
New round of US-led IPEF talks kicks off in Korea
A new round of official negotiations for the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) has begun in Korea’s southeastern port city of Busan, the industry ministry said Monday.
The fourth round of talks kicked off in Busan on Sunday for a six-day run, where some 650 officials from 14 member nations are seeking to make progress in setting details on trade, a clean economy and a fair economy ― three of its four key pillars, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
In May, the member nations reached an agreement on the pillar of supply chain resilience during a meeting in Detroit, which marked the first tangible progress since U.S. President Joe Biden launched the initiative in 2022 in a move to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
During the Busan meeting, the nations will examine plans for bringing the agreed-upon rules into force at an early date.
They also aim to achieve results in the three remaining pillars within this year, the ministry said.
On its sidelines, the Korean government plans to hold an international seminar on how to effectively utilize and implement the platform as a way of responding to supply chain crises.
"The IPEF will become a key platform for expanding trade in the Indo-Pacific region and ensuring stable supply chains. Korea will play a leading role in setting rules under the framework," Minister Lee Chang-yang said.
The member nations include Korea, the United States, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and they represent 40 percent of the global gross domestic product and 28 percent of the global goods and services trade, according to government data.
In 2021, trade volume between Korea and the remaining 13 IPEF member nations reached $498.4 billion, accounting for 39.6 percent of Seoul’s total trade that year.