Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun (Yonhap)
South Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun on Tuesday stressed the need to make the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) a flexible and effective mechanism to better respond to fast-changing global trade circumstances as member nations have prepared to launch official negotiations.
Ahn made the remarks during a two-day IPEF ministerial meeting held via teleconferencing from Tuesday, which also brought together 13 top trade officials from the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India and Singapore, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The two-day meeting was co-hosted by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The IPEF, launched by US President Joe Biden in May, covers four key areas -- fair trade, supply chain resilience, infrastructure and green technology, and tax and anti-corruption.
"The IPEF is meant to play a role as a flexible and effective mechanism that can respond to fast-changing trade environments appropriately and deal with emerging issues," Ahn said during the meeting.
"It is needed to continue consultations to set a global norm in terms of such new issues as clean energy, the transition to digital systems, to promote regional cooperation in supply chains, and to encourage ties between public and private entities," he added.
The member nations have held several rounds of high-level talks since May as part of preparations for official negotiations, with their exact schedule yet to be fixed. (Yonhap)