Prime Minister Narendra Modi met U.S. President Joe Biden in New Delhi on Friday, who is visiting India for the first time in his capacity as President to participate in the G20 Summit in New Delhi on September 9-10, 2023. In their over 50-minute talks, Modi and Biden welcomed sustained momentum in bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence, trade, investment, education, health, research, innovation, culture, and people-to-people ties.
The two leaders commended the progress in implementing the futuristic and wide-ranging outcomes of PM Modi’s state visit to the U.S. in June 2023, including under the India-U.S. Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), as per the statement released by Prime Minister's Office.
Here’s what PM Modi and Joe Biden discussed ahead of G20 Summit:
India’s G20 Presidency
As per the statement released by The White House, President Biden lauded India’s G20 Presidency for further demonstrating how the G20 as a forum is delivering important outcomes. “The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the G20 and expressed confidence that the outcomes of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi will advance the shared goals of accelerating sustainable development, bolstering multilateral cooperation, and building global consensus around inclusive economic policies to address our greatest common challenges, including fundamentally reshaping and scaling up multilateral development banks,” the release notes.
India's permanent seat at UN Security Council
President Biden also reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and, in this context, welcomed once again India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29. “The leaders once again underscored the need to strengthen and reform the multilateral system so it may better reflect contemporary realities and remain committed to a comprehensive UN reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of the UN Security Council.”
Biden congratulated PM Modi and the scientists and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing at the south polar region of the Moon, as well as the successful launch of India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1.
The leaders also welcomed efforts towards establishment of a working group for commercial space collaboration under the existing India-U.S. Civil Space Joint Working Group. In a bid to deepen partnership in outer space exploration, ISRO and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have commenced discussions on modalities, capacity building, and training for mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station in 2024, and are continuing efforts to finalise a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation by the end of 2023.
Semiconductor supply chains
The leaders reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains, noting in this respect a multi-year initiative of Microchip Technology, Inc., to invest approximately $300 million in expanding its research and development presence in India and Advanced Micro Device’s announcement to invest $400 million in India over the next five years to expand research, development, and engineering operations in India. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the ongoing implementation of announcements made in June 2023 by U.S. companies, Micron, LAM Research, and Applied Materials.
WTO dispute settlement
The leaders lauded the settlement of the seventh and last outstanding World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute between India and the United States. This follows the settlement of six outstanding bilateral trade disputes in the WTO in June 2023.
Creation of investment platforms
The two leader also discussed creation of investment platforms to lower the cost of capital and accelerate the deployment of greenfield renewable energy, battery storage and emerging green technology projects in India. Towards this end, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and the U.S. Development Finance Corporation exchanged letters of intent to each provide up to $500 million to anchor a renewable infrastructure investment fund.
Expansion of electric mobility in India
Reiterating the importance of decarbonising the transport sector, the leaders welcomed progress to expand electric mobility in India, including joint support for a payment security mechanism financed through both public and private funds. This will accelerate the procurement of 10,000 made-in India electric buses including those for the Indian PM e-Bus Sewa program that will include the associated charging infrastructure. The two countries are committed to working together to help diversify the global supply chain for e-mobility.
Collaboration in nuclear energy
Given the importance of nuclear energy as a necessary resource to meet our nations’ climate, energy transition, and energy security needs, Modi and Biden lauded intensified consultations between the relevant entities on both sides to expand opportunities for facilitating India-U.S. collaboration in nuclear energy, including in development of next generation small modular reactor technologies in a collaborative mode. The United States reaffirmed its support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and committed to continue engagement with like-minded partners to advance this goal.
Prime Minister Modi and President Biden reaffirmed their commitment to deepen and diversify the India-U.S. Major Defence Partnership through expanded cooperation in new and emerging domains such as space and AI, and accelerated defence industrial collaboration.
Biden welcomed the issuance of a letter of request from the Ministry of Defence of India to procure 31 General Atomics MQ-9B (16 Sky Guardian and 15 Sea Guardian) remotely piloted aircraft and their associated equipment, which will enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of India’s armed forces across all domains.
The leaders welcomed completion of the Congressional Notification process on 29 August 2023 and the commencement of negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India, and recommitted to work collaboratively and expeditiously to support the advancement of this unprecedented co-production and technology transfer proposal.