AKIPRESS.COM - The United States and Indian officials on Tuesday agreed to expand cooperation on advanced weaponry, supercomputing, semiconductors and other high-tech fields. This comes as the Biden administration looks towards strengthening its ties with its Asian allies to offset China’s dominance of cutting-edge technologies, the New York Times reported.
The agreements were arrived at after two days of high-level meetings in Washington, between government officials and executives from various companies. The agreements are first under a new dialogue about initiative on critical and emerging technologies (iCET) that President Biden and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced in Tokyo in May.
On Monday, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, met with more than 40 company executives, university presidents and others, including executives from Lockheed Martin, Tata, Adani Defence and Aerospace, and Micron Technology.
Jake Sullivan on Tuesday said that the goal was for technological partnerships to be “the next big milestone” in the U.S.-Indian relationship after a 2016 agreement on nuclear power cooperation. He described the effort as a “big foundational piece of an overall strategy to put the entire democratic world in the Indo-Pacific in a position of strength.”
Sullivan said that the agreements will test whether the Biden administration can realize its proposal for “friend-shoring” by shifting the manufacturing of certain critical components to friendly countries.
Biden officials have expressed concerns about the United States’ continued reliance on China for semiconductors, telecommunications parts and other important goods. Many companies have found it challenging to obtain the factory space and skilled workers they would need to move their supply chains.
Though India has a highly skilled workforce and a government that wants to attract more international investment, multinational companies seeking to operate in India, complain of heavy government regulations.
According to Sullivan, both Biden and Modi are working towards closer U.S.- India cooperation in efforts to build out the industrial and innovation bases of their countries.
The partnerships announced on Tuesday include an agreement between the U.S. and Indian national science agencies to cooperate on artificial intelligence and advanced wireless technology, as well as in other areas, The New York Times reported.
The two countries also vowed to speed up their efforts to jointly produce and develop certain defence technologies, including jet engines, artillery systems and armoured infantry vehicles. The US has said that it would review a proposal by General Electric to produce a jet engine with India.
Officials also said that they would work together to facilitate the build-out of an advanced mobile network in India and look for new cooperation in semiconductor production, including efforts to help India bolster chip research and production that would complement major investments in the industry in the United States.
The agreement has the potential to take U.S.-India ties to the next level,” Tanvi Madan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said of the initiative. The trick, she added, will be “getting from potential and promises to outcomes.”