Modi’s US tour was no less than a blockbuster movie in terms of geopolitics. Movie? Yes! Have you noticed the timing of the visit? When our neighbors are suffering through the economic crisis, we are flourishing with massive economic development. Soon we will become one of the strongest countries in the world! Sounds quite patriotic. Right?
But it is a fact if you notice the recent developments of India’s global strategic partnership, especially with the US.
The recent visit of our PM was a significant step to level up the India-US bilateral relationship. How? Due to the several significant collaborations that will further strengthen the ties between the two nations.
So, in this write-up, we will unveil some of the major business agreements that were signed during Modi’s US tour in 2023.
Story So Far: Why is the US interested in India?
As soon as our PM stepped into the land of America, he received a grand welcome that rarely any foreign delegate receives. The 21-gun salute reception! Folks speculated that something great is going to happen. Soon the speculation became reality! How? The visit of the Indian PM to the US witnessed many valuable deals in crucial sectors. Such as-
- Technology Collaboration
- Clean & Renewable Energy
All those deals will help our country to build a robust industrial manufacturing base. But here is a point to ponder. What? You may ask. Why did the US become so interested in India all of a sudden? Due to the following factors-
(A) Major Factor: To combat China
Do you know the only country that can shake the position of the US as a superpower? Its China. The Dragon country is giving tough competition to the US. Also, it is highly ambitious to become a superpower. We can’t deny the fact that China went through an exponential development phase in the last two decades. But it was not alone. Numerous American manufacturing companies are established in China that aided in its development.
The development of India was also appreciable. Due to this India emerged as the perfect alternative to China for the US and the West. Numerous American Companies are looking to exit China and establish their base in India. Apple Inc. is one of them! Do you remember how Foxconn’s $700M investment (a major manufacturing partner of Apple Inc.) sparked a new revolution in India? India is highly determined to be a better alternative to China. We are also fully aligned with this fact. Because our country will get the following benefits-
- Boost in the Indian private sector
- More business deals for Indian companies
- Creation of resilient supply chains
(B) Other Factors
Some other factors that will provide significant benefits to the US are-
- Cheap Labor
- Large youth population (Working Population)
- Long coastlines with major dockyards (all thanks to Deccan Peninsula)
- A pool of semi-skilled labor
Major Business Agreements in Modi’s US Tour
Now, let’s look at the deals (business agreements) that will benefit India as a whole. All of these agreements are mentioned in the Joint statement from the US & India. We will describe them in simple terms.
(A) Technology Collaboration
As you know, technology is the core of the civilization and development of any country. The foundation of strategic technology partnership was laid back in January 2023 as iCET (Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology). So, with the visit of the Indian PM, the confirmed technology collaboration is-
(A.1) Space Cooperation (NASA & ISRO)
Our leaders presented the cooperation on earth and space science & tech. These corporations occurred between NASA and ISRO.
(A.1.1) Strategic Space Flight
NASA and ISRO are set to develop a collaborative and strategic spaceflight at the end of this year. The leaders appreciated this decision. Here, NASA will offer advanced training to our astronauts at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This is a collaborative effort with the International Space Station (2024).
It stands for NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar. The leaders applauded the delivery of the NISAR satellite to ISRO’s Centre in Bengaluru (Karnataka, India). NISAR is expected to launch in 2024.
(A.1.3) Commercial Collaboration of Private Sectors in the Space Economy
There will be enhanced commercial collaboration between the US and Indian private sectors. All thanks to India’s Space Policy 2023 for this successful partnership. US President Biden appreciated the signature of India on the Artemis Accords that envisions space exploration for benefiting mankind. Its ultimate goal of expanding space exploration beyond Mars.
(A.2) Semiconductor Supply Chain
We all know the significance of Semiconductors in the field of electronics. Both leaders signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) on collaborative innovation and smooth supply chain of Semiconductors. Do you know it is a highly significant step in the India-US partnership in semiconductor incentive programs? This MoU will highly benefit the Indian semiconductor companies too! Apart from that, it will promote the following factors in the semiconductor supply chain-
- Commercial Opportunities
- Skill Development
- Job Creation
- Accelerate India’s semiconductor education
- Semiconductor workforce development goals (Train Indian Engineers)
Several American semiconductor companies will establish semiconductor test facilities & Engineering Centers with support from the Indian government are-
- Micron Technology Inc.
- Lam Research
- Applied Materials Inc.
(A.3) Amazon Planning to Invest $26 Billion in India
The meeting of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy concluded with flying colors. How? You may ask. Because Amazon has made a commitment of investing over $26 billion in India by 2030. This will be highly beneficial for us because it will-
· Support startups
· Create jobs (over 100,000 full-time jobs)
· Enable exports
· Empower small businesses to compete globally
This deal marked a significant increase in Amazon where it directly competes with Flipkart, Reliance Industries, and Tata Group.
(A.4) Google will ramp up investments in India
The global search engine “Google” is going to bring its AI chatbot Bard into various native Indian languages. According to Sundar Pichai, Google’s AI model can handle over 100 Indian languages across speech and text. It will expand the internet & AI access to the native Indian population who are not much used to English.
Also, Google is planning to establish its fintech operations center in GIFT city (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City). It proves the significance of Modi’s US tour and India’s rising prominence in the fintech sector.
(A.5) Tesla to come in India ASAP
This is the most viral and anticipated deal of Modi’s US tour. Mr. Elon Musk was invited to explore investment opportunities in electric mobility and the commercial space sector. However, Musk said that he is trying to figure out the right timing to launch Tesla in India.
(A.6) Global Digital Inclusion (Creating Secure & Trusted Telecommunications)
Both leaders share a common vision to create secure and trusted telecommunications that will enable global digital inclusion. For this purpose, they launched two Joint Task Forces focused on- Open RAN and R&D in 5G/6G technologies. This cooperation will be led by telecom giants of both countries-
- Bharat 6G Alliance (India)
- Next G Alliance (USA)
None of us are unaware of the fact that the US-India Major Defense Partnership is a pillar of global peace & security. The 2+2 dialogue in the domain of defense will strengthen the military ties of both countries. Some of the notable points of defense cooperation between India & US are-
(B.1) Adoption of Defense Industrial Cooperation Roadmap
It will provide policies to defense industries for collaborative research, testing, and prototyping of projects.
(B.2) Signing of MoU between General Electric (US) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (India)
Both the leaders- Biden & Modi approved the above MoU for the manufacture of GE F-414 jet engines in India. This engine is specialized for the light combat aircraft Mk 2 made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The US jet engine technology will be shared through this initiative.
(B.3) Master Ship Repair Agreements
The US looks at India as an emerging hub for the maintenance and repair of US Navy assets. This agreement will allow the US Navy to get mid-voyage and emergent repairing of their Navy Ships in the Indian Shipyards. Thus, the Defense Industrial Roadmap will create logistic, repair, and maintenance infrastructure for aircraft and ships in India.
(B.4) Launch of INDUS-X
Biden & Modi welcomed the US-India Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X). It includes a network of universities, startups, industry, and think tanks. Thus, it will facilitate-
- Joint defense tech innovation
- Co-production of defense technologies
The US Defense Space Force has signed an International Cooperative R&D agreement with Indian start-up 114 AI and 3rdiTech. Both parties will work with General Atomics to co-develop components using AI and semiconductors.
India is planning to procure MQ-9B HALE UAVs manufactured by General Atomics. These UAVs will enhance the ISR capabilities of the Indian armed forces.
General Atomics will establish a Comprehensive Global MRO facility in India to boost indigenous defense manufacturing capacity.
(C) Clean & Renewable Energy
Both India and the US are keen players to work to heal climate change. Modi’s US tour deployed an ambitious vision to achieve global climate goals. The US is famous for clean and renewable technologies. You must have seen the viral photograph of Modi with Elon Musk. The former invited the latter to establish a TESLA factory in India. Thus, they highlighted the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership and SCEP (Strategic Clean Energy Partnership). The collaborated effort includes-
- Deploy Energy Storage Technologies
- Establishment of a new task force under SCEP
- Renewable Energy Technologies Action Platform
- Cooperation in Green Hydrogen
- Offshore & Onshore Wind
- Reduce the cost of green/clean hydrogen
- Carbon capture, utilization, and storage
- Decarbonizing the transportation sector
All of these efforts are under India’s National Green Hydrogen Mission and US Hydrogen Energy Earthshot.
Indian companies that are investing to develop new technologies to fight climate change are-
- VSK Energy LLC: It is going to invest $1.5 billion to develop a vertically integrated solar panel manufacturing operation in the US.
- JSW Steel: It is planning to invest $120 million at Mingo Junction, Ohio steel plant.
These investments will serve the growing markets in the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors.
India signed the MoU of the US-created Global Biofuels Alliance which will be launched in July 2023. Also, the US Agency for International Development will help the Indian Railways to achieve a target of “net-zero” carbon emission by 2030.
The US and India announced plans to create a payment security mechanism to deploy 10,000 made-in-India electric buses in India. Thus, all of it will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
(D) Healthcare Collaboration
Both leaders celebrated the collaborative activity to expand the health sectors. They hailed the deeper cooperation to ensure the following-
- Smooth Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
- Preparation for upcoming pandemics
- Epidemiology training
- Laboratory strengthening
- Food safety & regulation
- Cancer technology programs (US-India Cancer Dialogue)
- Collaboration between research institutes of both countries
- AI-enabled diagnostics
- Prognosis prediction tools
- Diabetes research
Apart from that, both countries are keen to disrupt illicit drug production and trafficking. It includes synthetic drugs like-
- Amphetamine Type Stimulants
(E) Education Partnership
This was a crucial aspect of Modi’s US tour. He welcomed the bilateral education partnership with the US. Indian students will soon become the largest foreign student community in the US. Do you know that this year the number of Indian students in the US increased by almost 20%? A new Joint Task Force of the Association of American Universities and leading Indian educational Institutes has been established. It includes our IITs too! This step will expand the research and university partnership between India and the US.
Modi’s US tour described a novel stage of the India-US relationship. It resulted in significant business agreements in various sectors. Such as technology, defense, renewable energy, healthcare, and education. These are the takeaways from our PM’s visit to the US. Not only will it enhance the bilateral strategic partnership between the two nations. But it also enhances the economy of our nation.