Australian, Japanese and Indian trade ministers say diversifying trade key to securing regional supply chains

Dan Tehan free trade agreement

Trade Minister Dan Tehan. Source: AAP/James Ross.

A video conference between the respective trade ministers of Australia, Japan and India has underscored the importance of addressing supply chain disruptions in the Indo-Pacific region.

As a result of the trilateral meeting, the three countries plan to develop and promote new supply chain principles in the region.

Austrade, Invest India and JETRO have been told to collaborate to better promote investment and business opportunities in strategic sectors. Manufacturing and services will likely be a focus of the key sectors, which are yet to be identified.

The virtual ministerial meeting took place on Wednesday, where Australia, India and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to promoting ‘strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in the region’.

It is the second meeting since an agreement was made in 2021 to convene regular forums between trade ministers of the three nations (at least once a year) to implement the supply chain resilience initiative (SCRI).

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan issued a joint statement with Japan’s minister for economy, trade and industry Hagiuda Koichi and India’s minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal.

“The ministers affirmed their desire to strengthen supply chain resilience among the three countries by promoting measures such as trade and investment diversification and supporting the enhanced utilisation of digital technology,” the statement said.

“The ministers also affirmed the importance of cooperation with business and academia to promote best practice and to facilitate joint projects for supply chain resilience.”

The statement said information-sharing between Australia, Japan and India on matters of best practice for supply chain resilience had occurred. They also welcomed an investment promotion/buyer-seller matching event which allowed stakeholders from Australia, Japan and India to explore the possibility of diversification of their supply chains.

The role of the SCRI secretariat will rotate in the order of Japan, Australia and India as country chair from the next meeting.

This article was first published by The Mandarin.

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