IBI Support for U.S. Indo-Pacific Goals Spans the Region
The US government’s Indo-Pacific Vision (IPV) envisions a “free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific region in which all nations are independent, strong, and prosperous.” USAID organizes its approach to the IPV around three pillars: governance - a free Indo-Pacific; economy - an open Indo-Pacific; and security - a secure Indo-Pacific. IBI partners with USAID on projects in Timor-Leste, Lao PDR, and the ASEAN member states to provide expert trade facilitation, digital economy, customs reform, and SME development in support of the economic pillar of USAID’s strategic approach.
IBI’s Work in the Indo-Pacific
Recently, IBI provided support for organizing the Indo-Pacific Business Forum Breakfast - a satellite event of the Indo-Pacific Business Forum held in Hanoi, Vietnam. As part of the USAID Laos Business Environment Activity, which works to create a healthy business environment through SME development in Lao, the breakfast event highlighted the IPV and included two panel discussions that addressed foreign investment prospects for Lao PDR from macroeconomic and industry perspectives.
In Timor-Leste, IBI supporting Government of Timor-Leste counterparts to improve the efficiency of international and cross-border trade through the USAID Customs Reform Project (CRP). This program promotes the legal, regulatory, and policy reforms outlined in the economic pillar of USAID’s strategic approach. The project has met success: mentioned in the official State Department IPV document, CRP decreased clearance times of goods at Dili Seaport by over half since the project began in 2017. Working in all ten ASEAN member states, IBI supports the implementation of ASEAN policies at the national level through the USAID ASEAN Policy Implementation (API) Activity. The IBI team is particularly focused on policies related to trade facilitation and digital data governance—key components of the economic pillar in USAID’s IPV approach. The development of an interconnected National Single Window system promises to increase the ease of conducting trade throughout ASEAN. Acutely aware of the evolving digital landscape, IBI experts also focus on ASEAN policies addressing cross-border data flows and bolstering participation and literacy in the new digital economy.
As the Indo-Pacific Vision is being realized in the region, IBI’s work contributes to open and transparent markets that enable economic prosperity in countries across the region.