Wary Of Indirect Chinese Influence, India Opposes Inclusion Of ASEAN In Supply Chain Resilience InitiativeIndia, Japan And Australia's flags

Apprehensive over the possibility of China's indirect influence, India has opposed Japan's suggestion to include the 10 member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the three-nation Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI), reports Economic Times.

SCRI was instituted by India, Japan and Australia last year as a trilateral push with the intent of reducing the dependence on China and developing supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region. SCRI is aimed at the creation of a free and transparent trade and investment environment.

“We aren’t keen on Asean joining the initiative right now. We need to safeguard our interests and China’s influence through the grouping is a concern,” an official was quoted in the report as saying.

Under SCRI, the three nations are looking to set up industrial parks, improve air and sea-based connectivity between them, establish a mechanism to address the resolution of trade and investment barriers and a streamlined risk management system. The three nations have also identified at least 10 product and services categories from the perspective of volume trade for collaboration.

The three nations cumulatively had a gross domestic product (GDP) of whopping $9.3 trillion in 2019, with their merchandise goods and services trade being worth $2.7 trillion and $0.9 trillion respectively.

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