Washington [US], January 31 (ANI): Ahead of the launch of the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Monday (local time) that iCET will "accelerate our strategic convergence" and policy alignment.
He said this while addressing a meeting, hosted by US-India Business Council (USIBC), in the presence of US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The meeting was hosted in advance of the inaugural launch of the iCET.
Addressing industry executives, NSA Sullivan said that "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 added 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."
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 attendees to be ambitious in deepening business and academic ties, and committed to working with NSA Doval to remove barriers on both sides.
Ambassador Atul Keshap, President of the US-India Business Council and the former Charge d'affaires to India, welcomed the Indian and American delegations, including Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, on behalf of the US Chamber.
Announced during US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bilateral talks in Tokyo last May, 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.
In support of the iCET, 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.
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Keshap expressed that "the US and India are not only Quad partners, but members of a high-trust ecosystem underpinned by converging interests and shared values. 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."
Ambassador Keshap added, "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 to highlight the central role the US and India would play in shaping the development of advanced technologies.
Roundtable participants 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.
NSA Ajit Doval and Ambassador 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.
Both officials 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.
Both officials 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.
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, as 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 U.S.-India Corridor."
Knight added, "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."
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 is the world's largest business organization representing companies of all sizes across every sector of the economy.
Formed at the behest of the US and Indian governments in 1975, the USIBC has represented top global companies operating across the United States, India, and the Indo-Pacific for the past 48 years.
Amid dynamic growth within the US-India commercial partnership, USIBC serves as the premier voice of the industry and creates connections between businesses and governments across both countries.
Recognizing that US-India trade is increasingly driven by new business hubs, USIBC is also focused on strengthening connections between cities and states across the world's largest and oldest democracies, for the happiness and prosperity of all of our 1.7 billion citizens. (ANI)