Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has reaffirmed India's commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. The Minister today attended the first in-person Ministerial meeting of the India-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF) in Los Angeles.

The Minister said that India will take decisions on different aspects of the frameworks of IPEF based on its national interest. Goyal said that there have been very useful engagements with the 14 members of the IPEF and added that the officials from member nations had worked very hard to prepare ground for such fruitful interactions.

He expressed hope that in a day's time, IPEF would finalize a framework within which member nations could interact on different areas of mutual interest.

Meeting of the India-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF) in Los Angeles
India-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF)PIB Delhi

Ahead of the Ministerial meeting of the Indo Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, Goyal had met Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell in Los Angeles. He also held a meeting with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on the side-lines of IPEF Ministerial meeting.

"Discussed further deepening of India-US trade and investment ties as we look to build resilient global supply chains," the Minister tweeted later.

Piyush Goyal
Shri GoyalPIB Delhi

The Minister met US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai at the side-lines of the IPEF Ministerial in Los Angeles. In a tweet, he said, "India recommits to its efforts for a free, open & inclusive Indo-Pacific as we head into the ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity".

Goyal also met the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, on the side-lines of the meeting and discussed expanding trade, job growth and areas of mutual interest to give further impetus to India-Japan economic cooperation.

Responding to a query on market access issues, Goyal said an India-US Trade Policy Forum would soon be held during which we would come up with more deliverables and newer areas of engagements.

Trade ties with US

Taking a question on digital economy, the Minister said that he had informed his counterparts in the US that India was looking to have very contemporary and modern laws in the digital space while maintaining high levels of data privacy, particularly of our citizens' personal data. In that spirit, India is working on a more robust framework to be presented to the Parliament soon and this has been much welcomed by the US and businesses in India.

India is a big provider of technology services and in this age of work from home, new opportunities have opened up for youngsters, especially the young people in tier 2 and 3 cities and remote areas to provide cost-effective solutions to US companies and it has been received with a great deal of interest by US businesses.

Piyush Goyal
Piyush GoyalPIB Delhi

Referring to the series of meeting he had with US companies in India, Daavos, during the WTO meeting and in the Bay area, Goyal said that these interactions gave him a sense of encouragement that US Companies are looking to expand hiring in India and to expand their research and development, technology support systems and back offices. Numbers they are indicating in terms of their hiring plans are truly staggering, he added.

Responding to a query on the upskilling initiative he launched in San Francisco, SETU, the Minister said that India would be its beneficiaries too with our youngsters, especially girls, who have tremendous potential standing to gain from the training and upskilling being offered by the reputed firms who are part of the initiative.

India has also extended its support to the initiative as we have some outstanding ed-tech companies and skilling initiatives in India to provide cost effective solutions. It was welcomed by the US, the Minister said.