Introduction: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is a U.S.-led initiative that aims to strengthen economic ties and address crucial trade and supply chain challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. It is perceived as a response to counter China’s influence in the area.

The framework is not a traditional trade agreement but consists of various modules encompassing fair and resilient trade, supply chain resilience, infrastructure and decarbonisation, and tax and anticorruption measures. This essay delves into the significance of IPEF as a driver of global economic growth, highlighting its key components and potential benefits. However, India has expressed several concerns about the framework, which are also examined in the subsequent discussion.

IPEF as an Engine of Global Economic Growth:

  • Digital Trade: IPEF emphasizes digital trade, encompassing not only the online buying and selling of goods but also data flows that enable global value chains and services. By facilitating data processing, analysis, and cybersecurity beyond national borders, the framework seeks to reduce business costs and enhance data utilization capabilities.
  • Supply Chain Resilience: The IPEF aims to ensure access to critical raw materials, semiconductors, minerals, and clean energy technologies, especially during crisis situations, to ensure business continuity. Enhanced transparency, communication, data-sharing, and early alert systems are envisioned to address potential disruptions effectively.
  • Green Growth: Aligned with the Paris Agreement, the framework’s pillar on clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructure endeavors to provide technical assistance and financial support, including concessional finance. The goal is to promote sustainable infrastructure development and the adoption of renewable energy technologies.
  • Taxation and Anti-Corruption: IPEF includes a pillar dedicated to promoting fair competition through robust tax, anti-money laundering, and anti-bribery regimes, in accordance with existing multilateral obligations and agreements. This aims to curb tax evasion and corruption in the region.

India’s Concerns with the IPEF:

  • Political Nature: India is apprehensive about the political underpinnings of the IPEF, viewing it primarily as a strategic move by the Biden administration to counter China’s influence in the region. This raises questions about the sincerity of the economic objectives of the framework.
  • Digital Governance Contradictions: India’s stance on digital governance differs from the US position. Issues like restrictions on international data flows, data localization requirements for the financial sector, and customs duties on digitally distributed products present challenges and contradictions.
  • Differences with Developed Countries: India holds different views from developed nations on matters such as labor standards, subsidies for public sector entities across borders, and the role of such entities in economic arrangements.


While the IPEF offers significant potential for fostering economic growth and addressing critical challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, India has valid concerns about the framework’s political nature and discrepancies in digital governance and economic perspectives. However, isolating itself from the IPEF may not be a prudent approach, given the widespread support it enjoys in the region. Engaging constructively with the framework allows India to shape its trajectory and address its apprehensions effectively. Therefore, a balanced approach that ensures India’s interests are adequately represented while participating in the multilateral arrangement could yield beneficial outcomes for the country and the region at large.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish July 8, 2024