WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday opened the final day of the Indian prime minister’s four-day U.S. visit by meeting top American and Indian executives as the leaders look to increase cooperation on artificial intelligence, semiconductor production and space.
The leaders are putting a spotlight on the “Innovation Handshake,” a new initiative aimed at addressing regulatory hurdles that stand in the way of cooperation between the two countries and promoting job growth in emerging technologies.
“Our countries are taking innovation and cooperation to new levels,” Biden told the group, which included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “We’re going to see more technological change … in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the last 50 years.”
White House officials say India’s deep talent pool will be crucial in building more resilient supply chains and developing technology to address climate change. All this comes as the administration has sought to put the U.S.-India relationship on a higher plane in the face of an ascendant China in the Indo-Pacific.
Modi commended Biden for seeing “the possibility that India represents.”
“This is definitely a guarantee for a bright future,” Modi added.
As part of Modi’s state’s visit – the first by an Indian leader since Manmohan Singh in 2009 – the two leaders announced several major investments by U.S.-based companies in India.
Micron Technology has agreed to build a $2.75 billion semiconductor assembly and test facility in India, with Micron spending more than $800 million and India financing the rest. U.S.-based Applied Materials will launch a new semiconductor center for commercialization and innovation in India, and Lam Research, another semiconductor manufacturing equipment company, will start a training program for 60,000 Indian engineers.
On the space front, India signed on to the Artemis Accords, a blueprint for space exploration cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s lunar exploration plans. NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization also agreed to make a joint mission to the International Space Station next year.
Earlier this year, the two countries launched the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies, which sets the path for collaboration on semiconductor production, developing artificial intelligence, and a loosening of export control rules. The initiative was critical in sealing a deal, announced Thursday, that will allow U.S.-based General Electric to partner with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics to produce jet engines in India.
Later Friday, Modi was honored at a State Department luncheon hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He was also scheduled to deliver an address to members of the Indian diaspora in the United States before departing Washington in the evening.
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