A partnership of 18 economies, including India, the US and the European Union (EU), on Wednesday unveiled a four-point roadmap for building collective, long-term resilient supply chains, including steps to counter risks arising from supply dependencies and vulnerabilities.
The roadmap was outlined in a joint statement issued by the 17 partner economies following a virtual supply chain ministerial meeting hosted by US secretary of state Antony Blinken and secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo. The meeting was a follow-up to the supply chain summit convened by US President Joe Biden last October.
Though the joint statement contained no reference to China, the text left no doubt that the measures are aimed at reducing the dependence of the 17 partners on Chinese supply chains against the backdrop of Beijing's assertive actions, including on economic and trade issues.
The roadmap for building resilient supply chains is based on the global principles of transparency, diversification, security and sustainability, according to the statement.
"Building collective, long-term resilient supply chains based on international partnerships is critical to the success of this effort," the statement said.
The partners said they intend to "deepen our consultations to identify and address risks arising from supply dependencies and potential vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure" in order to promote supply chain security.
"We intend to work together to address our mutual vulnerabilities and work to eliminate corruption in support of supply chain security," the statement said, adding this cooperation will involve partnerships with industry, labour, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to manage security risks to supply chains.
The partners will also promote transparency in consultation with the private sector, civil society, government and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen the resilience of supply chains.
"We intend to advance information sharing, and to the extent possible common approaches and early warning systems, about potential, emerging, and systematic supply challenges," the statement said.
The partners will also promote diversification and increase global capacities for multiple, reliable and sustainable sources of materials and inputs, intermediate goods and finished goods in priority sectors, along with logistics infrastructure capacities, to increase the resilience of supply chains and make their economies less vulnerable to disruptions and shocks.
"Predictability is important to resilient supply chains, and we will aim to work together to promote predictability, openness, fairness, and non-discrimination in our economic relations as they impact our supply chains," the statement added.
The partners will also encourage global sustainability and responsible business conduct across supply chains, as well as objectives in multilateral environmental agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. This will include cooperation to eradicate the use of forced labour in global supply chains.
"The shocks to global supply chains from pandemics, wars and conflicts, extreme climate impacts, and natural disasters have put in stark relief the urgent need to further strengthen supply chains, to work to reduce and end near-term disruptions, and to build long-term resilience," the statement said.
Besides India, the US and the EU, the other partners are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Spain and the UK.