Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic state visit further elevated U.S.-India relations and enhanced the strategic partnership, both from a manufacturing perspective and brought about collaboration in the field of critical and emerging technologies. The Prime Minister’s visit also puts the U.S.-India strategic partnership in the pantheon of the most defining partnership of the 21st century.
As we take stock of another year of India’s independence, India remains one of the fastest-growing economies as cyclical headwinds and the war in Ukraine affects other G20 economies.
Apropos of the G20, the country’s big G20 moment comes next month, with India holding the Presidency later this year. Prime Minister Modi’s message ahead of the Summit has been clear- India’s presidency is based on the importance of equitable growth and a shared future for all.
New Delhi’s priorities are towards climate action, strengthening supply chains, focusing on critical and emerging technologies, and healthcare remains a focus based on the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The healthcare crisis also saw India’s steely resolve with its pharmaceutical prowess, mass vaccination drive, and delivery of cost-affordable vaccines to emerging markets.
The pandemic also exacerbated the supply chain crisis, and the focus remains to rebuild and restore supply chains that were disrupted by the pandemic. Two other major themes emerge from rebuilding supply chains. The focus is on high-end tech manufacturing with data being the new oil, and semiconductors playing a central role in reshaping technological advantage. As per the recent SemiconIndia 2023 Conference in Gujarat, India is redefining an electronic competitive advantage and working to build a world-class semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem.
India’s manufacturing economy and the country as a hub for semiconductor design and manufacturing are helped by the government’s focus on initiatives such as Make in India and the Production Linked Incentives (PLI schemes). This is vital as companies and CEOs across board rooms are now adopting a China plus one strategy and India, with its large labor talent pool and the country is in a pivotal position to capture the high-end component manufacturing market.
This has been further accentuated by the trillion-dollar giant Apple. The Cupertino-based company’s decision to open its first retail store in India is an affirmation of the faith that American multinationals have placed in India’s manufacturing potential. Apple’s decision will pave the way for other multinational giants to enter the Indian market.
In the friendshoring era, New Delhi’s ability to produce cutting-edge products and enhance its manufacturing potential will be vital as companies seek to diversify their supply chains.
The manufacturing aspect has a two-way component and on the commercial side, Air India’s decision to procure over 200 American-made aircraft from Boeing is a boost to the American manufacturing economy. The deep synergy in technology was codified earlier this year as both Washington and New Delhi strengthened their strategic partnership through the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) under the aegis of both National Security Advisors. The focus is not just on semiconductors, but rethinking tech partnerships through quantum computing, artificial intelligence, defense, innovation, and advanced telecom, and with the recent success of Chandrayaan-3, space is the next destination, as both ISRO and NASA have agreed to enhance space strategies.
The state visit highlighted the tech synergy with a strong defense component, with the jet engines deal and acquisition of predator drones and a closer defense focus on the Indo-Pacific.
President Biden and Prime Minister Modi will meet again on the sidelines of the G20 summit and reaffirm the strength of the partnerships, which has the power and potential to change the lives of citizens and solve the pressing problems of the 21st century, with a focus on a green economy and energy security and technology to uplift the lives and well-being of millions.