Prime Minister left for Tokyo on Sunday to attend the Quad Summit. IPEF is a US economic initiative meant to integrate Indo-Pacific economies.

In a significant development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will remain present at the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) by the US President Joe Biden on Monday in Tokyo.

PM Modi will be in Tokyo on Monday and Tuesday for the Quad summit. “During my visit to Tokyo, I look forward to continuing our conversation further, with an aim to strengthen the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership,” the Prime Minister said.

Sources told The Daily Guardian Review: “The PM’s presence at the launch of IPEF in Tokyo will be an important indication that New Delhi may join the initiative after some more rounds of discussions. Some of the issues (or concerns) related to the IPEF have to be discussed and some doubts have to be dispelled during the bilateral meetings between PM Modi and Biden… More clarity has been sought by India on some of the pillars in Biden’s economic plan.”

Sources said that India is keen to build and strengthen economic ties further with the Quad countries in the Indo-Pacific, keeping in mind China’s consistent efforts to grow its economic clout there. “An Indian delegation consisting of some economic experts and diplomats will be joining a high-level meeting in Tokyo to discuss the various points of the framework,” sources said.

On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that

discussions and conversations are still going on regarding the IPEF draft. He, however, hinted that India is positive about joining Quad efforts towards building robust economic ties in the Indo-Pacific. When asked, Kwatra explained: “One of the focuses of the Prime Minister’s conversations during the Quad summit will be on the Indo-Pacific which is essentially one of the main areas of Quad’s focus and also within that space the economic dimension of the cooperation.”

“China is obviously an elephant in the room, but officially nothing is being said about that. Beijing has already started reacting angrily to the reports about the launch of IPEF,” sources said.

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is a US economic initiative that is seen to integrate Indo-Pacific economies. The arrangement is expected to cover issues like supply chains, setting of standards and rules in the digital economy, clean energy transformation and infrastructure investments.

Earlier last week, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had confirmed that New Delhi had received the “details” of the initiative from Washington, and was “examining it”.

He will also engage with the Japanese business community and the Indian diaspora. “Japan is home to nearly 40,000 members of the Indian diaspora, who are an important anchor in our relations with Japan. I look forward to interacting with them,” PM Modi added.

The Quad leaders’ summit will be held on Tuesday. Before leaving for Tokyo on Sunday evening, PM Modi said that during the Quad summit, leaders will once again have the opportunity to discuss various initiatives and issues of mutual interest.

“In the second in-person Quad Summit, the leaders will once again have the opportunity to discuss various Quad initiatives and other issues of mutual interest,” PM said.

The Prime Minister also said that he would hold a bilateral meeting with United States president Joe Biden this week. “The two countries will discuss ways to consolidate the multi-faceted bilateral relations. We will also continue our dialogue on regional developments and contemporary global issues,” the PM added. He further said that during the summit, he will meet the newly-elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who will be joining the Quad Leaders’ Summit for the first time.

The two are expected to hold a bilateral meeting to discuss matters of mutual interest. “I look forward to a bilateral meeting with him during which the multifaceted cooperation between India and Australia under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and regional and global issues of mutual interest will be discussed,” the PM said.

All eyes are set on what India decides in terms of joining this economic initiative, which is part of the US’ big strategy to deal with China’s economic dominance in the Indo-Pacific.

With agency inputs