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US urges India to strengthen trade and tech ties to tackle supply chain dependencies

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US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is pushing for some "friendshoring" with India to boost trade and diversify supply chains. The idea behind friendshoring is to move trade away from countries that pose geopolitical and security risks and build up resilience with trusted partners - like India. Yellen made these comments during a roundtable with US and Indian tech leaders at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Rome.

While addressing the roundtable, Yellen said:

"Out people-to-people ties affirm the closeness of our relationship. 200,000 Indians are studying in America and enriching our schools and universities. We depend on each other on a daily basis: Indians use WhatsApp to communicate and many American companies rely on Infosys to operate"

India is already an essential partner to the US, with bilateral trade totaling over $150 billion in 2021. The tech sector is critical to both countries' economic growth and innovation, making it a natural area to deepen ties. Companies like Google and Apple have already expanded their phone production in India, and Yellen says that the United States is keen to explore further opportunities for collaboration.

Yellen added:

“Under PGII, we have announced investments in agri-tech to enable climate-smart agricultural production, and in digital payments systems for microentrepreneurs. These stand alongside investments in renewable energy, health, and other infrastructure sectors in India”

The roundtable was attended by top tech honchos from both countries, including Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani, IBM India managing director Sandip Patel, Intel India country head Nivruti Rai, Foxconn India Country Head Josh Foulger and Wipro chairman Rishad Premji.

The tech leaders shared their views on how to strengthen the US-India trusted technology partnership through proactive policy measures on critical and emerging technologies. They also highlighted their contributions to both countries’ economies and societies through job creation, skill development and innovation.

Tech companies like Apple and Foxconn are already working on expansion in India. In the next couple of years, Apple will be expanding its retail business in the country by opening more than 100 new stores. Foxconn has also announced investment plans to boost iPhone production, while also significantly increasing its workforce in the next two years.

Source: The Economic Times

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