Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

Aotearoa New Zealand is working with our partners in the Indo-Pacific region to develop a future focused economic cooperation framework, covering a range of priority economic and trade issues.

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Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity: Call for Public Submissions

On 23 May, Prime Minister Ardern joined Leaders from 12 other Indo Pacific countries (subsequently 13 with the participation of Fiji in the days following) in announcing the start of talks toward launching negotiations on the Indo Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. The Joint Leaders statement on the proposed initiative can be read here Statement on Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity | The White House(external link).

Countries that have committed to developing the IPEF span our wider home region in the Indo Pacific and include both ASEAN partners and some of the region’s major economies. Along with New Zealand, Australia, the US, Japan, Singapore, Republic of Korea, India, Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Fiji have all pledged to collaborate on closer economic integration in new and novel ways, not limited to trade.

The Indo-Pacific region is vital for the prosperity and security of New Zealand. It contains over half of the world’s population and accounts for around two-thirds of the global economy. Strategically it is important for Aotearoa New Zealand to be an active partner in helping shape an Indo-Pacific order that delivers regional stability and economic integration in a sustainable and inclusive way.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity is an opportunity to strengthen economic cooperation with the United States and other economies across our wider home region.

A fully realised IPEF that includes New Zealand perspectives and ideas would provide an open and inclusive platform for the US to engage more deeply in the economic architecture of the Indo-Pacific, which we think is valuable for both New Zealand and our region.

The Framework will cover some of the most important future-focused economic issues facing our region and the world, including harnessing the digital economy, decarbonising our economies, and making our supply chains more resilient.

The principles of sustainability and inclusivity are embedded throughout the Framework. There are strong linkages between the Framework and the principles that underpin New Zealand’s Trade for All Agenda, principles we will be bringing to the table in discussions to ensure the benefits of this Framework are broadly shared by our peoples.

The detail of what the IPEF may contain has yet to be fleshed out by partners, but Leaders have stated their ambition to negotiate commitments to cooperate on four pillars: Trade; Supply Chain Resilience; Clean energy, decarbonisation, and infrastructure; and Tax and anti-corruption. 

The IPEF is not a Free Trade Agreement, and will not include market access for goods or services through traditional schedules, though we think that there may be commercial opportunity for New Zealand in the Trade pillar through the negotiation of rules on Trade Facilitation, on Digital Trade, and on Regulatory Cooperation among other things. 

The discussions taking place in the coming weeks will enable countries to understand each other’s views on the four pillars, and to undertake a full assessment of the opportunities that a negotiation might represent, as well as any risks. It will also enable New Zealand to influence the direction and scope of an eventual negotiation.

Officials are now working to shape advice to Ministers to inform a decision by our Government on joining the negotiation, which we anticipate will kick-off sometime in the middle of this year.

The views of stakeholders, civil society and Māori are fundamental to the advice that goes to Ministers so they can give due and inclusive consideration to both the opportunities for all New Zealanders in the talks and understand some of the potential risks as you see them. If the Government decides that New Zealand should join the negotiation, it will provide guidance to negotiators on what they should aim to achieve for New Zealand. 

Against this background, we invite you to submit your views on New Zealand’s participation in the IPEF to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by 20 June 2022 via:

Email:
IPEF@mfat.govt.nz

Mail:
Coordinator, Indo-Pacific Economic Framework
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Private Bag 18901
Wellington

Should a decision to participate in the IPEF be taken by the Government, public consultation would continue throughout the negotiation and there would be further opportunities to feed in your views as discussions move forward. Your submission into this process will be registered as a signal of your ongoing interest in being consulted on the IPEF in the future.

Resources

Why it’s a priority for NZ

The Indo-Pacific region is vital for the prosperity and security of New Zealand. This region contains over half of the world’s population and accounts for around two-thirds of the global economy. Economies in the region make up roughly 70 percent of New Zealand’s total trade flows.

Strategically it’s important for Aotearoa New Zealand to be an active partner in shaping an Indo-Pacific order that delivers regional stability and economic integration in a sustainable and inclusive way.

Working on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity with regional partners gives New Zealand an opportunity to shape a future-focused regional economic cooperation agenda that will make our economies more connected, resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and competitive.

What are the potential benefits?

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity is an opportunity to strengthen economic cooperation with the United States and across our wider home region.

The IPEF will provide an open and inclusive platform for the US to engage more deeply in the economic architecture of the Indo-Pacific, which we think is valuable for both New Zealand and the wider region.

The Framework will cover some of the most important future-focused economic issues facing our region and the world, including harnessing the digital economy, decarbonising our economies, and making our supply chains more resilient.

The principles of sustainability and inclusivity are embedded throughout the Framework. These are principles that underpin New Zealand’s Trade for All Agenda, principles we will be bringing to the table in discussions to ensure the benefits of this Framework are broadly shared by our peoples.

The IPEF will create new opportunities with major Indo Pacific economies to cooperate on:

  • Trade
  • Supply chains
  • Clean energy, decarbonisation, and infrastructure
  • Tax and anti-corruption

Status and timelines

The United States first publicly announced the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity concept at the East Asia Summit in October 2021.

Following that, the United States invited New Zealand and other regional partners to participate in informal discussions on the development of the Framework.

On 23 May 2022 New Zealand leant its support to the United States and other regional partners in announcing the beginning of discussions toward the launch of negotiations. These discussions will enable interested parties to understand each others’ views on the four pillars, and to undertake a full assessment of the opportunities that a negotiation might represent.  It will also provide an opportunity for New Zealand to input into the direction and scope of an eventual negotiation.

Officials will be consulting closely with stakeholders and Māori throughout the process to ensure that their views shape the positions that New Zealand will take into discussions, and ultimately to ensure that the benefits of the IPEF flow to all New Zealanders.

New Zealand has not yet made a formal decision to join Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity negotiations.

How to get involved

MFAT is keen to hear your feedback on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.

You can get in touch with us by:

Email:
IPEF@mfat.govt.nz

Mail:
Coordinator, Indo-Pacific Economic Framework
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Private Bag 18901
Wellington

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