Washington, May 26 (EFE).- Fiji has become the latest country to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), an initiative aimed at countering China, the White House has said.
The economic alliance was launched by United States President Joe Biden last week.
In a statement on Thursday, Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Fiji had become the 14th country to join the economic bloc and the first in the Pacific Islands to do so.
“Across geography, we are united in our commitment to a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” Sullivan said.
“Fiji will add vital value and perspective to IPEF, including on our efforts to tackle the climate crisis and build a clean economy that creates good paying jobs,” he said of the island nation of nearly one million people.
“The future of the 21st century economy is going to be largely written in the Indo-Pacific, and IPEF will help to drive sustainable growth for all our economies,” he added.
Biden first spoke of an economic framework for the Indo-Pacific region in October.
He officially launched the IPEF last week during a visit to Japan as part of his first tour of Asia.
Along with the United States and Japan, the world’s first and third-largest economies, the bloc’s founding members include Australia, Brunei, South Korea, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Member countries account for 40 percent of the world’s GDP and 60 percent of the global population, said the US.
One of the main areas of cooperation for IPEF would be safeguarding supply chains of strategic importance, such as raw materials and semiconductors, as availability has been affected by the coronavirus impact in China and the Ukraine war.
In terms of trade, the IPEF aims to establish high common standards and trade commitments to boost economic growth with dividends for both workers and consumers, focusing on the digital arena and other industries.
Another of the common objectives is to back the development of clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructure development, for which financial resources would be mobilized, while technological assistance and cooperation would also be improved. EFE