NEW DELHI: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which was launched last month a day before the fourth Quad summit in Tokyo, is billed as the first major trade initiative of the Biden administration. It reinforces the centrality of ASEAN in the region, something the Quad has harped about. In addition to the four Quad members—the U.S., India, Japan and Australia—the framework has a dozen partners as of now. That includes seven of the ten ASEAN members. Despite ASEAN’s reluctance and hesitation about the Quad, it shows there is a lot of interest in the bloc to engage with the U.S. when it comes to the economic front, says Rahul Mishra, Director of the Center for ASEAN Regionalism and head of European Studies program, Asia Europe Institute, University of Malaya. Speaking on ‘The Gist’, Mishra said the IPEF is unlike the “security-centric” Quad which makes many ASEAN countries anxious. He was of the opinion that the IEPF shouldn’t be seen just as a China containment strategy. Tune in for more.
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