US, India to sign MoU on semiconductors: US Commerce Secretary Raimondo

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NEW DELHI: US Secretary of Commerce Gina M Raimondo on Thursday said semiconductor was a shared priority and India and the US are implementing a semiconductor programme. She added that an MoU will be signed on semiconductor during this trip.

Raimondo said during a telephonic press briefing, “It is really an honour to be here and I want to thank all of the ministers to have so graciously hosted me while I stand here. Special thanks to Mr (Piyush) Goyal, my counterpart, and also a special thanks to Minister (Rajnath) Singh who invited me to his home yesterday (Wednesday) with his family, to celebrate Holi with him which was a fantastic experience”, she added.

Raimondo said she was extremely optimistic. “We’ve been optimistic for US-India relations. Our partnership with India is one of our most consequential relationships and I think one of our most promising bilateral relationships, as we look forward,” she said.

The reason for that, she felt, is that “we share a common set of values along with a commitment to promoting free open-based order to both the security and prosperity and we also share opportunity to expand our economic relationship.”

“Reaffirming our role as trusted partners to each other,” Raimondo said, adding, “Creating jobs, in both of our countries, establishing more secured supply chains, we’re excited to be doing that to pave the way for greater trade and investments between our two economies.”

She said this was a moment of significant opportunity for both countries, and “we have some looks to the future”. “I am very encouraged by the progress that we are making, Minister Goyal and I will convene meeting tomorrow (Friday) of the US- India Commercial Dialogue and the US India CEO forum”, Raimondo said, adding, “I’m thrilled to say that 10 CEOs of leading US companies travelled with me for the forum”.

She also mentioned, “Boeing and Air India announced an order for 220 aircraft, which is a historic deal that reflects the strength of our economic relationship.”

During the question and answer session, she said over semiconductor programme and the relations on the technology, “We both are focused on semiconductor tech. We are in a fortunate situation. Discussions we had were on providing transparency and coordinating semiconductor initiative. We’re working on a collaborative way and there is opportunity for sharing information and transformation. We basically feel we can have greater benefit with implementation”.

When Raimondo was asked about any hiccups in US-India collaboration on semiconductor supply chain and if the US see India as a counter-balance for China in the semiconductor space, she said, “I don’t see any hiccups. I don’t foresee any hiccups in my meeting with Minister (Piyush) Goyal and private sector”. To a question of India as a balance for China, she added, “This is about making the semiconductor supply chain more resilient, more diversified, and which is beneficial for both the United States and India and how we can work together to achieve that goal”.

To a query over what key proposals will be brought to the table for Indo-US commercial dialogues and commercial projects, Raimondo said, “Our partnership with India is a consequential and commercial dialogue intended to work together on supply chain, semiconductor, climate, health care and pharma as well as digital sector. We are not targeting any specific sector”.

On specific plans for collaboration in semiconductor or on specific semiconductor chain, she said, “No specific firm has an interest. In preparation of this visit, I spoke to dozens of CEOs and there is enthusiasm regarding India.” She added, “MoU will be how we share semiconductor collaboration in US and India. There will be an opportunity for a joint partnership. We are looking for near-term opportunity. This is not one-year collaboration, it is a 20-year collaboration”.

To a query on export control, Raimondo said, “We talked a lot about export control. Increasing transparency in our working relationship with India. I had a meeting with EAM (External Affairs Ministry) and we launched India-US strategic trade dialogue. We are focused on export control. We are going to deepen our engagement with India”.

On the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), she said, “You have to work hard to hit the goal and I’m confident we will hit the goal. I want to see economic benefits for us and other countries in the region this year”. “We would like to see India achieves its aspirations to play a larger role in the electronic supply chain. And to that end, the MoU that I am signing on this trip around semiconductors is designed to help achieve that goal”, Raimondo said.

She called the Boeing-Air India aircraft order “historic” and mentioned that it reflects the strength of the economic relations between the two countries and will support a tremendous number of jobs. “Semiconductors are another great example of our shared priorities. We’ve had discussions about that all day, both US and India are implementing semiconductor incentive programmes and we discussed how we can coordinate those investments which are in our interests and ensure the best possible outcome for both of our countries”.

“We’re also delighted to be working with India as a part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and through that, United States, India and 12 other partners in this region are developing policies to create more resilient and secure supply chains, accelerate progress on our green transitions, and demonstrate our commitment to fostering a better business environment”.

She called the partnership between India and US as most consequential relationships and promising bilateral relationship. “The reason for that is I think we share a common set of values grounded around our democratic traditions, along with a commitment to promoting free open rules-based order to bolster security and prosperity”, she said. (ANI)

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