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Trade Minister attends IPEF Ministerial Meeting 2022-07-27

Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun attended the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Ministerial Meeting on July 26-27 via videoconferencing, which was co-hosted by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, to exchange viewpoints prior to actual negotiations.

The meeting was attended by ministerial-level officials of fourteen countries: South Korea, the U.S., Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Fiji. They exchanged views on the four major IPEF issues, namely 1) trade, 2) supply chain 3) clean energy / decarbonization / infrastructure and 4) taxation / anti-corruption.

IPEF is a new cooperation body designed for joint response to freshly emerging challenges like supply chain bottlenecks, digital transition and climate change, which have become increasingly more critical as the global trade paradigm is shifting focus from “efficiency” to “resiliency.”

IPEF was launched via summit on May 23, and before negotiations begin in earnest, participating nations are currently exchanging opinions through a series of ministerial and high-level meetings in venues like Paris and Singapore.

Trade Minister Ahn emphasized the importance of substantial and in-depth discussions during this round of meetings, and added that “creating practical outcomes in areas like supply chain and clean energy” is imperative.

He relayed that “it is necessary to uphold the momentum for establishing global rules on new trade issues,” while “guiding companies with appropriate directions for tangible accomplishments in order to better connect and integrate the Indo-Pacific region.”

With regard to IPEF, the South Korean government has thus far launched the public-private joint strategic meeting in June for relevant ministries’ effective communication, and is presently operating a “one team” consisting of government officials, business entities and experts to gather diverse opinions and promote public awareness.

The Government plans to continue its active participation in IPEF discussions to effectively incorporate domestic industries’ interests.