Fourteen U.S. companies, including Amazon.com Inc. and Visa Inc., have each pledged to provide at least 500,000 digital training and education opportunities to women and girls in the Indo-Pacific region as part of a initiative of the Biden administration.
The program, undertaken within the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for 14-Country Prosperity, focuses on Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
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IPEF’s skills-building initiative, which will provide 7 million total training opportunities over the next decade, was unveiled Thursday by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai as are organizing a two-day meeting of Asian countries in Los Angeles. The plan is designed to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, while advancing competitiveness in the region, they said.
Other companies involved in the initiative are American Tower Corp.; Apple Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc.; Dell Technologies Inc.; public relations firm Edelman; Google, part of Alphabet Inc.; HP Inc.; International Business Machines Corp.; Mastercard Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; PayPal Holdings Inc.; Salesforce Inc.; and Visa Inc.
The initiative – undertaken with The Asia Foundation, a non-profit development organization – focuses on emerging economies and middle-income countries in the IPEF, which also includes wealthy countries such as Japan, South Korea South, Australia and Singapore.
“I heard loud and clear from the region, especially in developing countries, ‘We need concrete benefits, tangible economic benefits,'” Raimondo said at the launch of the initiative on Thursday. “I hear this and promise you that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will bring tangible economic benefits to your countries. »
The trade chief added that she hoped more companies would join the initiative and that it would expand beyond 14 countries.
The contribution of this initiative has the potential to be “of immeasurable value” and to have a lasting impact, Fiji’s Minister of Commerce, Faiyaz Koya, said at the event.
The plan will strengthen U.S. private sector engagement in the fast-growing region in a way that will pay long-term dividends for businesses and workers in the United States and its partner countries, Commerce and USTR said in a statement announcing the strategy. The departments declined to disclose the value of the investments.
It will also support the region’s work to build economic resilience, equity, inclusion, and sustainability to help expand the middle class, as well as export opportunities for U.S. goods and services and trade. and regional investment, the agencies said.
Finally, by facilitating training in areas such as data, cloud and cybersecurity, the approach will enable IPEF countries to promote cross-border data flows and online privacy, as well as combat misinformation. , corruption and cyber theft, according to the Biden administration.