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How the grand reception given by President Biden showcases India as a rising economic giant

When the founder of the world’s leading hedge fund says something, it has to be taken seriously. In a tweet during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates noted, “…He [Modi] and India are in an analogous position to Deng Xiaoping and China in the early 1980s—i.e., at the brink of the fastest growth rates and biggest transformations in the world…”. The 1979 visit by the late Chinese premier saw China and the US agreeing to co-operate in the areas of science and technology, education, commerce, space and culture as well as the opening of consulates. Forty-four years later, Modi may have far surpassed Deng’s record by inking over 30 agreements in areas ranging from high-end technologies to advanced telecommunications, and defence to education, to diplomacy, sustainable development and global health, among others. “…I believe that Modi has what it takes to have the greatest impact on the largest number of people in the world at a time that the risks of harmful impact are greater than at any time in our lifetimes,” Dalio had tweeted.

PM Modi set the tone for this new chapter between the world’s two leading democracies when he told a joint session of the US Congress, “In the past few years, there have been many advances in AI—artificial intelligence. At the same time, there have been even more momentous developments in another AI—America and India,” to a standing ovation from the house. Giving a thumbs up to Modi’s state visit—the third by an Indian leader—India Inc. says that among other things, it has helped to highlight the two countries’ commitment to pursue common goals and address global challenges together. It is also timely, as it is happening at a time when global economic and geopolitical realities are in a state of flux.

“There is not one but many defining features of the outcomes this time, which is rather unique… Sectors like biotechnology, space, semiconductors, telecom, AI, quantum, and defence would get a huge fillip through this arrangement of cooperation,” says R. Dinesh, President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Executive Vice Chairman of TVS Supply Chain Solutions. He is particularly delighted with the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) picking up traction. Dinesh also commends the laying down of an institutionalised framework for trade talks “since the potential for augmenting bilateral trade, including in hi-tech areas is huge”.

These agreements are particularly being seen as providing a fillip to Modi’s Make in India push in electronics and defence manufacturing, evident in the deal between the aerospace unit of GE and state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics to manufacture F-414 fighter jet engines in India for use in the indigenously developed Tejas Mk2.

The two countries will also be enhancing co-operation in the space sector. India became the 27th country to sign the Artemis Accords, a multilateral agreement between the US and other countries to return humans to the moon by 2025. “With India’s participation in the Artemis Accords, we can expect more active dialogue and agreements to lay a comprehensive framework of regulations to guide our trajectory in space. The increasing technological collaboration between the US and India will also help growth in the global space economy enabled by innovation, talent, and technology from India,” New York-based Elizebeth Varghese, People in Space-Leader at Deloitte, tells Business Today.


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