India and US resume commercial supply chain dialogue and establish semiconductor partnership

After three years of stalled trade dialogue between the world’s two largest democracies, India and the US, trade dialogue resumed on March 10 to discuss supply chain issues and agree on a semiconductor partnership initiative.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Union Secretary of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal spoke jointly at a news conference Friday at the India-US Trade Dialogue.

The dialogue focused on several emerging areas, including building supply chains, facilitating clean energy collaboration, developing talent and post-pandemic economic recovery for startups and small businesses.

Both dignitaries discussed the India-US strategic partnership and economic and commercial engagement between the two countries, including through the Critical and Emerging Technologies Initiative (iCET) and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

During the meeting, the minister and secretary acknowledged that bilateral trade in goods and services has nearly doubled since 2014 and will surpass $191 billion in 2022. Both sides welcomed further steps to enhance their commercial cooperation and unlock market potential in multiple sectors, and also create an environment for investments from small and medium-sized industries (MSMEs) and start-ups.

Minister Raimondo welcomed the steps taken as part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline and PM Gati Shakti’s National Master Plan.

The Secretary and Secretary welcomed the US-India Critical and Emerging Technologies Initiative (iCET). Ministers also noted India’s interest in partnering with the United States to develop a secure pharmaceutical manufacturing base and diversify supply chains for critical and strategic minerals (including rare earths).

Both countries also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on semiconductor supply chains and innovation partnerships to promote cooperation in this segment. This comes just a week after reports from Apple Inc.’s partner, Foxconn Technology Group, which plans to invest about $700 million in a new plant in Bengaluru to boost local production.

“Secretary Raimondo and Minister Goyal recognize the importance of the US and Indian markets to the global electronics industry and intend to use the trade dialogue to increase public and private efforts to promote industry cooperation in the semiconductor sector. This effort will identify growth opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the U.S. and Indian semiconductor industries develop stronger interconnections, complementary ecosystems and a more diverse semiconductor supply chain,” the Department of Commerce and Industry said in a joint statement .

Both ministers recognized that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the US and Indian economies and that there is a need to facilitate cooperation between the two countries’ SMEs and foster innovation ecosystems that will fuel their economic recovery and growth after the ease pandemic. In this regard, both sides announced the establishment of a new working group on talent, innovation and inclusive growth under the trade dialogue.

This will encourage collaboration in the fields of start-ups, SMEs, skills development and entrepreneurship, including digital and emerging technologies. This working group would also support efforts under iCET, particularly in identifying specific regulatory hurdles that impede collaboration and fostering greater connectivity between our innovation ecosystems (including technology startups).

The two countries also restarted the Travel and Tourism Working Group to strengthen cooperation between them. “The Travel and Tourism Working Group has been relaunched to continue pre-pandemic progress and also to address the many new challenges and opportunities to create a stronger travel and tourism sector. The activities of this working group also support SMEs, as the travel and tourism sector includes SMEs such as hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, handicrafts, etc.,” the joint statement said.

Raimondo praised India for its incredible culture and thanked Goyal for hosting the US delegation and showcasing the country’s culture. She said it was an “incredible opportunity” for her to learn about Indian culture, which makes the country a special place.

Both countries have also created the Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program, which is run in partnership between America’s American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and India’s Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to collaborate on standards.

Meanwhile, EAM and Minister Raimondo launched a “strategic trade dialogue” focusing on export controls, examining ways to improve high-tech trade and facilitating technology transfers between the two countries. The Strategic Trade Dialogue will address export controls and ways to enhance high-tech trade and facilitate technology transfers between the two countries.

Also, in 2024, the US side will send a clean energy and environmental technology business development mission to India, led by senior government officials.

“The trade mission would be an opportunity to further promote US-India business partnerships in grid modernization and smart grid solutions, renewable energy, energy storage, hydrogen, LNG and environmental technology solutions,” the joint statement said.

Both sides also committed to working together in the Global Biofuels Alliance and in the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies.

The two sides announced the US-India Energy Industry Network (EIN) as a broad platform to facilitate US industry participation in Clean EDGE Asia, the US government’s initiative to build sustainable and secure clean energy markets in the entire Indo-Pacific region.

Both sides expressed interest in working together to develop next-generation telecom standards, including 6G.

Minister Raimondo welcomed India’s ongoing G20 presidency. The ministers expressed their interest in looking forward to the next trade dialogue meeting, to be held in Washington, DC in 2024, which will contribute to a growing strategic and economic relationship between India and the United States.

The US is India’s largest exporter and trading partner, while India is the US’s ninth largest trading partner. Bilateral trade in goods in April-January was $108.43 billion. Both nations are aiming for a bilateral trade volume of 500 billion US dollars by 2025.

The US is also the third largest investor in India with a cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow of US$56,753 million from April 2000 to September 2022.

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