India and U.S. Forge Stronger Ties Across Multiple Fronts in Landmark Talks
New Delhi: US and India held bilateral talks on the sideline of the G20 summit. US president Biden reached Modi’s residence 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi today to hold important talks on several fronts ranging from collaborating in the field of defence and science to working together in order to achieve social equity and improving trade between the two leading economies.
The leaders of both the countries expressed their appreciation for the substantial progress underway to implement the ground breaking achievements of Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to Washington June 2023. President Biden lauded India’s G20 Presidency for further demonstrating how the platform of G20 can be used as a forum for delivering important outcomes.
President Biden declared his support for a reformed UN Security Council (UNSC) with India as a permanent member, and, in this context, welcomed once again India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29. In a bid to make global governance more inclusive and representative, the US President extended his support to India for a seat at the table. This comes after the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the UNSC outdated in his press conference at UN House in Delhi.
Both the Indian PM and US President discussed the importance of the Quad in supporting a ‘free, open, inclusive, and resilient’ Indo-Pacific. PM Modi said that he looked forward to welcoming President Biden to the next Quad Leaders’ Summit to be hosted by India in 2024.
India & U.S. pledged to continue cooperation in the defence sector. They talked about maintaining a major defence partnership through expanded cooperation in new and emerging domains such as space and AI, and accelerated defence industrial collaboration.
They have commenced negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India. The US reaffirmed its support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and committed to continue engagement with like-minded partners to advance this goal.
India also welcomed the U.S. decision to co-lead the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Pillar on Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport in addition to the U.S. decision to join IPOI in June 2023. The two leaders committed to bringing together start-ups, private equity and venture capital firms, corporate investment departments, and government officials to forge connections between the two countries’ innovation ecosystems.
President Biden congratulated Modi and the scientists and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Chandrayaan-3’s historic success. Determined to deepen partnership in outer space exploration, ISRO and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have commenced discussions on working together on future space projects.
The shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens became a subject of mutual importance for both the leaders.
The leaders highlighted G20’s commitment to halve the digital gender gap by 2030 and reaffirmed the significance of efforts to close the gender digital divide in the digital economy.
They expressed support for ‘Women in the Digital Economy Initiative’, which brings together governments, private sector companies, foundations, civil society and multilateral organizations to accelerate progress toward the closure of the digital gender divide.
India-U.S. Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X), the innovation unit of two countries, will launch two joint challenges which will invite start-ups to develop solutions to shared defence technology challenges. Additionally, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and the U.S. Development Finance Corporation exchanged letters of intent to each provide up to US$500 million to anchor a renewable infrastructure investment fund.
In the health sector, US-India Health Dialogue, taking place in October 2023 in Washington D.C, the two countries underscored their joint commitment to strengthen and facilitate scientific, regulatory, and health cooperation between two nations.
They will jointly take part in cancer research and work on advancing knowledge in cancer genomics, developing new diagnostics and therapeutics to enhance and strengthen cancer care for underserved urban and rural communities. Meanwhile, India welcomed the U.S. decision to co-lead the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Pillar on Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport. USA decided to join IPOI recently in June 2023.
Focusing on the importance of decarbonizing the transport sector, the leaders welcomed progress to expand electric mobility in India, including joint support for a payment security mechanism financed through both public and private funds.
This will accelerate the procurement of 10,000 made-in India electric buses including those for the Indian ‘PM e-Bus Sewa’ program that will include the associated charging infrastructure in advancing the creation of investment platforms to lower the cost of capital and accelerate the deployment of greenfield renewable energy, battery storage and emerging green technology projects in India.
Regarding this India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and the U.S. Development Finance Corporation exchanged letters of intent to each provide up to US$500 million to anchor a renewable infrastructure investment fund.
In the telecommunication field, both the countries shared a vision of secure and trusted telecommunications, resilient supply chains, and global digital inclusion. Modi and Biden welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bharat 6G Alliance and Next G Alliance, operated by Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, as a first step towards deepening public-private cooperation between vendors and operators.
The leaders hailed the signing of an Implementation Arrangement between the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and India’s Department of Biotechnology to enable scientific and technological research collaborations in biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovations.
They welcomed the call for proposals released by NSF and India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to foster academic and industrial collaboration in semiconductor research, next generation communication systems, cyber-security, sustainability and green technologies, and intelligent transportation systems.
In a joint statement released by the US and India, the countries highlighted 29 points that Prime Minister Modi and President Biden talked and discussed about.