Australia, India and Japan have formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience initiative (SCRI), in what is being interpreted as a move to counter China's dominance in supply chain trade in the Indo-Pacific
Australia, India and Japan have formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience initiative (SCRI), in what is being interpreted as a move to counter China's dominance in supply chain trade in the Indo-Pacific.
The trade ministers of the three countries launched the initiative in a Trilateral meeting held virtually on Tuesday.
Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry, Dan Tehan, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, and Kajiyama Hiroshi, Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, during the meeting acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic was having an unprecedented impact in terms of lives lost, livelihoods and economies affected, and had revealed supply chain vulnerabilities globally and in the region, a Press Information Bureau release said.
The ministers also noted that “some supply chains have been left vulnerable due to a range of factors”, which appeared to be a reference to China, though the Communist country was not mentioned.
The ministers noted the importance of risk management and continuity plans in order to avoid supply chain disruptions and affirmed their commitment to strengthen resilient supply chains.
They said the possible policy measures could include supporting the enhanced utilisation of digital technology and promoting trade and investment diversification.
The ministers instructed their officials to ensure sharing of best practices on supply chain resilience and hold investment promotion events and buyer-seller matching events as initial projects of SCRI in order to further develop the Initiative.
The ministers also decided to convene at least once a year to provide guidance for implementation of the SCRI.
Noting the important role of business and academia for the initiative, the ministers directed their officials to meet as often as required to take the effort forward.
“The SCRI aims to create a virtuous cycle of enhancing supply chain resilience with a view to eventually attaining strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in the region.
“The Ministers consented that expansion of the SCRI may be considered based on consensus, if needed, in due course,” the release added.
To quickly take forward the initiative, the ministers explored convening the Trilateral Ministerial Meeting, once in four months.