Mon, 27 Mar 2023

Washington [US], January 31 (ANI): National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Monday highlighted the need to convert intentions and ideas into actions and specific deliverables through focused steps in a time-bound manner with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan noting that the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) will accelerate US' strategic technology partnership with India.

The two NSAs made the remarks at a high-level roundtable organised by US India Business Council (USIBC) of the US Chambers of Commerce.

Doval and India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu highlighted India's remarkable capacity for technology development and absorption and emphasized India's use of technology not only as an enabler of economic growth but as an instrument of social inclusion.

They commended the launch of the iCET, given the natural complementary strengths of the Indian and American economies and the growing strategic convergence between both nations.

Doval, who arrived in Washington on Monday, also met General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US where both of them held a "fruitful discussion."iCET was announced during bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Tokyo in 2022 on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders Summit.

During the roundtable, Doval and Sandhu also emphasized India's growing role as a trusted supply chain partner and contributor in the global technology value chain, and underlined the importance of easing export control measures to facilitate technology access, co-production, and co-development between India and the US.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in his remarks that iCET will "accelerate our strategic convergence" and policy alignment.

"iCET is about much more than technology cooperation, it's a platform to accelerate our strategic convergence and policy alignment."Highlighting the work ahead for both governments, Sullivan said that the United States and Indian governments "want to establish a list of "firsts".

"Firsts in removing barriers on both sides to enable greater ambition by all of you," he said.

Sullivan highlighted how iCET will accelerate the United States' strategic technology partnership with India and advance the two countries' shared democratic values.

He also recognized the pivotal role that businesses, educators, and investors play, urged the gathering to be ambitious in deepening business and academic ties.

He expressed commitment to work NSA Doval to remove barriers on both sides.

Sullivan made the remarks ahead of the inaugural high-level dialogue between the two countries cocnerning iCET.

Ambassador Atul Keshap, President of the US-India Business Council and the former Charge d'affaires to India, said the US and India are not only Quad partners, but members of a high-trust ecosystem underpinned by converging interests and shared values.

He said the iCET is "a tremendous forum for our two democracies to coordinate on sustaining a free, open, and secure global economy that can ensure the future happiness of humanity."The iCET is spearheaded by the National Security Councils of both countries and focuses on strengthening the US-India partnership on the technologies that will drive global growth, bolster both countries' economic competitiveness, and protect shared national security interests.

Ambassador Keshap said both governments convening the iCET with such a strong industry presence at the US Chamber of Commerce demonstrates their recognition that business plays an essential role in bolstering the security and prosperity of both nations.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo attended the roundtable. The participants highlighted the central role the US and India would play in shaping the development of advanced technologies.

They discussed opportunities to promote the development of critical and emerging technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence, with a special focus on how to increase academic and government research exchanges and strengthen their linkages with the private sector.

A key theme throughout the roundtable was how both governments could facilitate deeper alignment on technology issues, including encouraging semiconductor supply chain resilience, deepening the two countries' research and development collaboration, strengthening workforce and education connectivity, and promoting co-investment and co-development.

In one of the sessions, the roundtable discussed microchips as a critical technology and the important role the US-India relationship could play in building a reliable semiconductor supply chain.

Sanjay Mehrotra, President and CEO of Micron Technology, discussed the importance of government-industry collaboration in this effort.

"It is promising to see the US and India prioritize the necessary discussions and investments that will enable greater semiconductor leadership within and among partner economies. The US Chamber of Commerce, as a major advocate for the CHIPS and Science Act and now the host of the US-India iCET dialogue, is creating compelling opportunities for the public-private partnership that will ultimately strengthen our economies. Micron looks forward to continuing to work with both governments, the Chamber, and industry as part of this key forum," said Mehrotra.

Vinayak Dalmia, who is part of the Government of India's business delegation, stated "the potential is limitless for both India and the US to come together to create a semiconductor highway to serve the world. This is a real possibility of a win-win--all that is needed is some imagination and a bold political will and we have both of that today."Rajan Mittal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises, remarked on the success of the iCET in progressing conversations around 5G.

"iCET successfully deliberated on the deployment of Open RAN technology for 5G to create trusted sources, trusted networks, and trusted partners," said Mittal.

Edward Knight, Executive Vice Chairman of NASDAQ, and Chair of the USIBC Global Board of Directors stated that "both governments choosing USIBC to host this dialogue only reaffirms its position as the leading convener of public-private consultation in the US-India Corridor.""The US and India pursuing this initiative on critical and emerging technologies demonstrates their growing alignment and sends signals of confidence to the investment community," he added.

Other discussion topics included defence and space technology. Roundtable participants underlined the importance of greater cooperation between government, industry, and academia to build a stronger innovation ecosystem that supports American and Indian competitiveness in both traditional and novel defence domains.

Participants also discussed the critical value that startups and VCs play in accelerating innovation and the commercialization of new technologies.

Industry representatives noted that shared resolve to facilitate the movement of highly skilled workers and scientific personnel, as well as to ease export control measures and protect intellectual property frameworks, would be key to further developing the US-India innovation ecosystem.

The US Chamber of Commerce will continue conversations on critical and emerging technologies with India as part of its close engagement with its G20 agenda, and as a chair of the B20.

The US Chamber of Commerce held a roundtable with industry executives across the spectrum of advanced technologies, including semiconductor design and manufacturing, commercial electronics, advanced telecommunications, commercial space, aerospace and defence, and information technology services. Leadership from academia and venture capital firms also participated.

Ajit Doval, Jake Sullivan, Gina Raimondo and CEOs from both nations and leadership of prominent universities earlier participated in a "special and unique reception" hosted by Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

The NSA is accompanied by a high-powered delegation. India's Principal Scientific Adviser, ISRO chairman, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, Secretary of Department of Telecommunications and DG, DRDO, are five high-profile members of the delegation.

"iCET is the next big milestone in India-US Strategic Partnership with a simple objective to take bilateral cooperation to the next level but specifically in areas of interest to India," an official familiar with the India-US deliberations had told ANI. (ANI)

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