Trade in Focus: The Importance of Technology Transfer Between the US and India

Did you know that in 2023, India and the United States’ bilateral trade volume was worth $128 billion, making the US India’s largest trading partner1?

It follows years of strategic partnership and cooperation between the two countries. In particular, the investment and technology transfer. The two countries have been—and are—working together to enhance the India–US strategic partnership on various global issues.

This blog will discuss some of the significant bilateral investments both governments have announced for trade expansion. We’ll also analyze their impact on the two country’s trade relations.

Highlights from the India–US Commercial Dialogue

In March 2023, the India-US Commercial Dialogue meeting occurred in New Delhi.

During the meeting, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, and the US Secretary of Commerce, Ms. Gina Raimondo, discussed ways to boost trade and investment.

Some of the major announcements that both countries made are:

  • They emphasized the need to reform and strengthen the multilateral system to represent contemporary realities better and ensure that UN reform remains a priority.
  • They discussed the India–US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET). The initiative aims to build open, accessible, secure, resilient technology ecosystems and value chains.
  • They welcomed NASA and ISRO’s decision to develop a framework for human spaceflight cooperation. They also applauded NASA’s announcement to provide advanced training to Indian astronauts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Impact Analysis of India–US Trade Dynamics

The impact of these announcements on trade relations has been positive and significant, such as:

  • Terminating six outstanding disputes in the World Trade Organization by the US and India has improved the trade environment and reduced trade barriers between the two countries.
  • The prioritization of deep technology collaboration has opened new avenues for innovation and cooperation. This applies to critical technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, quantum computing, and space exploration.
  • The trade agreements with technology-related provisions have generated a higher volume of trade than those without.

These announcements have demonstrated both countries’ strong commitment and vision to deepen their strategic partnership. However, this has also created new challenges for businesses and policymakers to leverage the potential of these announcements.

Unlocking Mutual Benefits of the Partnership

These joint ventures between the US–India can facilitate the transfer of technology and know-how between the countries. Eventually, this will enhance the innovation capabilities of the two countries and competitiveness in the global market. Plus, the partnership can contribute to the US and India synergies. This could allow them to leverage their strengths in defense, space, and the digital economy. It can also generate more jobs and economic opportunities for the businesses and people of both countries. It could lead to job creation, skill development, and promotion of social and cultural exchanges.

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