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U.S. Seeks to Promote Private Sector Participation in Energy, ICT and Infrastructure Projects in Indo-Pacific Region

The Global Markets unit within the DOC’s International Trade Administration will hold a roundtable on 12 December and will accept input from interested parties by 4 January on government programmes to inform the catalysation of U.S. private sector participation in commercial opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region in energy, infrastructure, and information and communications technology. The Trump administration announced on 30 July three new economic initiatives to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific region and the request for comments seeks input on priorities and strategies to enhance commercial engagement in each of these initiatives, which are summarised below.

  • Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership
    The DCCP is a new global initiative to promote access to an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet, with an initial focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Through this programme, the United States will support communications infrastructure development through public-private partnerships, promote regulatory and policy reforms, promote exports of U.S. ICT goods and services, and build the cybersecurity capacity of U.S. partners to address shared threats.
  • Infrastructure Transaction and Assistance Network
    The ITAN will prioritise support for strategically important infrastructure and catalyse opportunities for U.S. business, establish a new Indo-Pacific Transaction Advisory Fund to provide independent legal support for negotiations, and co-ordinate capacity-building programmes to improve partner countries’ project evaluation processes, regulatory and procurement environments, and project preparation and financing capabilities.
  • Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy, or Asia EDGE
    Asia EDGE is a U.S. whole of government effort to grow sustainable and secure energy markets throughout the Indo-Pacific. It seeks to strengthen energy security, increase energy diversification and trade, and expand energy access across the Indo-Pacific.

The DOC is requesting commenters to focus on the following issues.

  • What are the principal U.S. and/or foreign policy and regulatory barriers to growing sales and exports to the Indo-Pacific region? How would you prioritise these barriers for U.S. government engagement?
  • What are the principal barriers (U.S. and/or foreign) to investment in infrastructure (ICT networks, energy, transportation, other) in countries in the Indo-Pacific?
  • Have you worked with U.S. government agencies – such as State, Commerce, USTDA, EXIM, OPIC, USAID – in doing business in the Indo-Pacific? What is your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. government tools to promote U.S. businesses in this sector?
  • What proactive solutions or actions could the U.S. government pursue that would have an impact on catalysing U.S. private sector participation in commercial opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region?
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