PM Modi to attend US-Indo Pacific Economic Plan launch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Modi-Biden to have 'straightforward' talk on Ukraine war

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the unveiling of US President Joseph Biden's "Indo-Pacific Economic Framework" (IPEF), an American initiative for trade partnership in the region, in Tokyo on Monday. Modi's presence at the event is an important step towards building economic ties between the Quad countries in the Indo-Pacific, although officials refer to IPEF as the 15-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the 17-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), of which China is a member.

Briefing the media ahead of the event, US NSA Jake Sullivan said that the IPEF would have a "very broad membership", and crucially, the program is "designed to put workers at the center – with American workers" with focus on digital economy, clean energy transition, infrastructure and resilient supply chain.

An official said that India has not decided to join the framework but is keen to understand the "outline" of the US plan, confirming that Indian representatives will also attend the launch of talks expected on Monday. On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that "discussions and talks are still on" on the draft IPEF.

After landing in Tokyo on Monday, PM Modi is expected to meet Japanese business leaders in one-on-one talks including heads of NEC Corporation, Uniqlo Garments, Suzuki Motors and SoftBank Group, with Biden and others attending the IPEF event. Leaders also participate in a business roundtable.

On Tuesday, he will meet US President Joseph Biden, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and recently-elected Australian PM Anthony Albanese for the Quad summit, after which he will hold bilateral talks with each of them. PM Modi and President Biden will hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Quad summit in Tokyo on May 24. During their meeting, the two leaders are expected to hold a "constructive and straightforward dialogue", which will also touch upon the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

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