As many as 14 American companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Cisco, each promised to provide at least 5,00,000 digital training and education opportunities for women in the Indo-Pacific region over the next decade.
The move is a part of the IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity) Upskilling Initiative. It’s a public-private partnership launched by the Biden administration on Thursday to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth in emerging and middle-income economies in the Indo-Pacific region. It’s focussed on countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Fiji, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Upskilling Initiative was launched by US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, at the first in-person ministerial meeting of the IPEF in Los Angeles.
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The other companies that are involved in the initiative are Dell, Edelman, HP, International Business Machines Corporation, Mastercard, PayPal Holdings, American Tower Corporation, Salesforce and Visa Inc.
“I have heard loudly and clearly from the region, particularly in the developing countries, ‘We need concrete benefits, tangible economic benefits,’” Raimondo said at the unveiling of the initiative. “I hear that and I promise you the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will deliver tangible economic benefits to your countries.”
Raimondo expressed confidence that more and more companies will join this initiative and also expand this initiative to more countries.
According to a statement by the USTR, the initiative will strengthen American private-sector engagement in the fast-growing region in ways that pay long-term dividends for the companies and workers in both the US and its partner countries. The initiative is also expected to support economic resilience, equity, inclusion and sustainability. Interestingly, it will facilitate skilling in areas such as data, cloud and cyber-security. It will promote cross-border data flows and online privacy.