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Australia, India, Japan launch Supply Chain Resilience Initiative

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The Australian, Indian and Japanese trade ministers have officially launched a Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) in a trilateral ministerial videoconference held on Tuesday, 27 April.

In the meeting, the trade ministers acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic was having an unprecedented impact in terms of lives lost, livelihoods and economies affected.

They also noted that the pandemic had revealed supply chain vulnerabilities globally and in the region.

“Australia’s supply chains have generally proven resilient, but the pandemic has highlighted the need for greater international cooperation to strengthen supply chains,” said Dan Tehan, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

“Japan and India are important partners for Australia. I look forward to working closely together to strengthen supply chain resilience in our region,” Tehan said.

Since September last year, the three countries have had high level consultations that have highlighted the importance of risk management and continuity plans to avoid supply chain disruptions.

Possible policy measures may include supporting the enhanced utilisation of digital technology and supporting trade and investment diversification.

Additionally, the ministers have instructed their officials to implement several steps as initial projects of the SCRI and to further develop the initiative.

One of these initial projects will be the sharing of best practices on supply chain resilience. Another key project is holding investment promotion events and buyer-seller matching events to provide opportunities for stakeholders to diversify their supply chains.

In the meeting, the ministers also agreed to convene at least once a year to consider how to further enhance cooperation on supply chains, while acknowledging the important role of business and academia in the initiative.

The SCRI comes from the federal government’s commitment to enhancing the benefits Australia obtains from open trade and investment arrangements with other countries.

This new initiative builds on existing domestic and international measures to ensure Australia’s supply chains remain functioning and resilient.

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade media release

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