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Amazon, Apple and Google pledge training for women in the Indo-Pacific

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(Bloomberg) — Fourteen US 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 Biden government initiative.

Conducted within the wider 14-country Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, the program focuses on Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The IPEF Upskilling Initiative, which will provide a total of 7 million training opportunities over the next decade, was unveiled Thursday by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at a two-day meeting of the Asian nations in Los Angeles. The plan aims to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth while improving competitiveness in the region, they said.

Other companies involved in the initiative include American Tower Corp.; Apple Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc.; Dell Technologies Inc.; PR agency Edelman; Google, part of Alphabet Inc.; HP Inc.; International Business Machinery Corp.; MasterCard Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; PayPal Holdings Inc.; Salesforce Inc.; and Visa Inc.

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The initiative — undertaken with The Asia Foundation, a non-profit development organization — targets emerging economies and middle-income countries in IPEF, including rich countries such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore.

“I’ve heard loud and clear from the region, especially in the developing world, ‘We need concrete benefits, tangible economic benefits,'” Raimondo said on Thursday at the initiative’s launch. “I hear that and I promise you that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will bring tangible economic benefits to your countries.”

The head of trade added that she hopes more companies will join the initiative and that it will expand beyond 14 countries.

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