June 23, 2024

US, Indo-Pacific allies hold clean energy talks in Singapore

The US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Forum is holding a ministerial meeting in Singapore this week. Major companies will participate in a “clean economy” investor forum to promote investments in infrastructure and climate across the region.

This is the first in-person IPEF ministerial meeting since the substantive conclusion of the IPEF Clean Economy Agreement and Fair Economy Agreement negotiations in San Francisco in November.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said she plans to outline measures under the two deals this week.

“We will finalize all these agreements in the ministerial meeting,” Raimondo said. Further announcements on the supply chain deal are expected, he said.

The IPEF Clean Economy Investor Forum includes 22 major US companies, including Amazon.com’s AWS Bechtel, Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft, BlackRock, Bechtel, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and KKR. Raimondo said major Australian and Japanese investors will also attend the forum.

“Government contracts are great,” Raimondo said. “But honestly, it’s time to implement them — put some points on the board. … We believe that IPEF countries can do business and invest in a clean economy.”

Raimondo said each country has submitted its best clean economy plans “and then we will have matchmaking sessions at the investor forum.” These projects include renewable energy generation such as solar and wind power, power transmission and other infrastructure, transportation and mobility projects, Raimondo said.

He hopes the forum will lead to billions of dollars of investment in countries like Thailand and Malaysia in the coming months.

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“They want to attract investment in climate-related infrastructure,” Raimondo said. “These countries want to meet their own climate goals and build their own infrastructure, but they need capital, and we’ll bring that into the equation.”

The “Fair Economy” agreement aims to fight corruption and tax evasion. Countries are expected to outline anti-corruption and tax transparency commitments this week.

“It allows the whole thing to work,” Raimondo added.

Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States participate in IPEF.