Australia, Japan and India form supply chain initiative to counter China

The trade ministers of the three countries agreed to convene once a year to progress the initiative. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - The Japanese, Indian and Australian trade ministers have met to officially launch a Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, following reports that the three nations are working together to counter China's dominance on trade in the Indo-Pacific.

Japan's Mr Hiroshi Kajiyama, India's Mr Piyush Goyal and Australia's Mr Dan Tehan agreed in a video conference on Tuesday (April 27) to instruct their officials to share best practices on supply chain resilience, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.

They also committed to holding investment promotion events to explore the possibility of diversification of their supply chains.

The three nations are seeking to build stronger supply chains to counter China's dominance as trade and geopolitical tensions escalate across the region, Bloomberg reported in August, citing people in Tokyo and New Delhi with knowledge of the matter.

While China wasn't specifically addressed in Tuesday's statement, the ministers said that "some supply chains have been left vulnerable due to a range of factors", while "the pandemic had revealed supply-chain vulnerabilities globally and in the region".

The ministers agreed to convene once a year to progress the initiative, which could be expanded in the future based on consensus.

"Australia's supply chains have generally proven resilient, but the pandemic has highlighted the need for greater international cooperation to strengthen supply chains," Mr Tehan said in a separate statement.

"Japan and India are important partners for Australia. I look forward to working closely together to strengthen supply chain resilience in our region."

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