Trade ministers of 14 countries in the United States-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) have agreed to a deal to strengthen supply chains for essential materials such as chips and critical minerals.
According to Seoul's Industry Ministry and the U.S. Commerce Department, the 14 nations, including South Korea and the United States, concluded negotiations on a landmark IPEF supply chain agreement on Saturday.
The 14 countries are South Korea, the United States, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
It is the first agreement among the 14 participating founding member nations of the IPEF launched in May last year and also the first international agreement on supply chains.
The IPEF partners agreed to create an IPEF Supply Chain Crisis Response Network that can serve as an emergency communications channel when one or more partners faces an acute supply chain crisis.
Under the agreement, the partners will also create an IPEF supply chain council and a tripartite labor rights advisory board.
Seoul's Industry Ministry said that the agreement is meaningful in establishing a mutually complementary cooperation system involving not only advanced and developing countries but also countries with various economic characteristics such as resource-rich countries and technology powers.