Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach made three major announcements in energy, infrastructure and digital initiatives at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) in Bangkok. Together they represent advanced efforts in all three economic pillars of the Indo-Pacific Strategy to incorporate globally trusted standards.
The IPBF brought together nearly 1,000 leaders from business and government to promote the value of high-standard investment, transparency, rule of law and private-sector-led economic development.
Under Secretary Krach launched with his counterparts the Blue Dot Network, a new multilateral infrastructure initiative unveiled by the U.S., Australia and Japan; signed $10 billion agreement strengthening the Japan-U.S. Strategic Energy Partnership; and discussed plans to spur digitally-driven economic growth in the Indo-Pacific.
The Blue Dot Network is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings governments, the private sector and civil society together to invest in global infrastructure built on globally trusted standards. Under Secretary Krach spoke about the important role the private and public sectors play in implementing trusted standards predicated on transparency and accountability; sovereignty of nations, property and resources; local labor and human rights; rule of law; the environment, and sound governance.
As part of the Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP), Under Secretary Krach and his Japanese counterpart at the IPBF signed a statement underscoring Japan’s intention to mobilize $10 billion in public and private finance to support investment and capacity building for regional energy infrastructure, including investments in liquified national gas. JUSEP promotes universal access to reliable and affordable energy across the Indo-Pacific, facilitated by strong U.S.-Japanese collaboration, which already has made strides in developing natural gas infrastructure in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Mozambique. Under Secretary Krach reiterated the joint U.S.-Japanese commitment to promoting energy self-determination enabled by a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the benefits that accrue to citizens across the world by increased access to power. JUSEP’s principles and focus areas well complement those of the U.S. led Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (Asia EDGE) initiative.
Under Secretary Krach engaged the private sector directly by hosting a business leaders’ dialogue and participating in US-ASEAN Business Council and U.S. Chamber of Commerce roundtables. The Under Secretary lead a panel discussion on fostering a vibrant and trusted Indo-Pacific digital economy rooted in trusted networks. Highlighting that integrity, transparency, fairness and respect are essential to spurring the digital economy, and that trust underpins the free flow of data across borders, he reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to protecting personal data and facilitating international commerce.
U.S. engagement in the Indo-Pacific is not new. The longstanding economic relationship the United States has with the Indo-Pacific region is underpinned by over $1.9 trillion in two-way trade. The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in the region, and American corporations investing in the Indo-Pacific employ 5.1 million residents of the region and are as ever before committed to innovation, economic empowerment of women, and robust economic growth at home and in the region.
For more information on the Indo-Pacific Business Forum, please visit: https://www.indopacificbusinessforum.com/
For information on Under Secretary Krach’s trip, follow him on Twitter @State_E, on Facebook @StateDeptE, on Instagram @StateDeptE, and on LinkedIn @U.S. Department of State – E Under Secretariat