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Negotiations for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Held in Bangkok

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Negotiation Round took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from September 10–16, 2023, and was hosted by Thailand with pleasure. At the Shangri-La Bangkok Hotel, Thailand’s Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Phantipha Iamsudha Ekarohit, presided over the opening ceremony of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Bangkok Negotiating Round. Chief negotiators from the 14 IPEF partner countries—Australia, India, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam—were present.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary acknowledged the Indo-Pacific region’s enormous potential to steer the direction of the world economy in her opening remarks. IPEF may play a significant role in promoting inclusive, resilient, and sustainable growth in the area.

In order to advance IPEF, the Deputy Permanent Secretary also emphasised the significance of creating precise and practical goals, pragmatism, and mutual advantages in a constructive manner. She emphasised the potential of IPEF to act as a catalyst for partner countries to improve their competitiveness, facilitate frictionless trade, scale up transformative investments, develop their digital and green economies, and strengthen connectivity in all dimensions. Additionally, IPEF may have a role in determining how future global governance is organised, notably in the area of economic transformation for sustainable development.

During the Bangkok Negotiating Round, IPEF Partner Countries built upon the gains established from the previous round of negotiations in Busan, Republic of Korea, which was held in July 2023, and also the inter-sessional meetings over the past months.

In order to increase regional trade and investment opportunities, strengthen supply chain resilience, and improve partner countries’ standards and competitiveness, IPEF partner countries addressed prospective cooperation in tangible benefits initiatives. A hearing session for stakeholders was also held at the round so that pertinent parties could express their opinions and expectations regarding IPEF cooperation.

At the Shangri-La Bangkok Hotel’s Salathip Restaurant, H.E. Mr. Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand hosted a dinner in celebration of Chief Negotiators from Partner Countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) during the IPEF Negotiation Round on 14th September.

Chief negotiators from each of the 14 IPEF partner countries were greeted by the deputy prime minister and foreign minister. He reaffirmed the goals of the Royal Thai Government’s proactive economic diplomacy strategy to expand trade and investment possibilities. He emphasised that Thailand is looking forward to working with IPEF partners on all four of the framework’s pillars in order to improve trade and investment standards, improve supply chain resilience and crisis response, advancement in climate action and the green transition, and foster anti-corruption and tax transparency.

The United States initiated the IPEF, a framework for regional economic cooperation, and it was formally unveiled on May 23, 2022. Four areas of collaboration make up the framework: trade, supply chains, a clean economy, and a fair economy. IPEF seeks to improve regional partner countries’ economic, trade, and investment relations. The Framework also facilitates the strengthening of IPEF Partners’ capacity to address new challenges and their shared economic interests.