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Modi-Biden to Address Critical Issues at G20 Summit 2023 in New Delhi

Bilateral Meeting Agenda Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden are set to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in 2023. The discussions will encompass a wide range of topics, including high-tech cooperation under the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), trade, procurement of MQ-9B armed drones, jet engine manufacturing, and civil and nuclear liability agreements.

Building on Previous Commitments The meeting is expected to build upon the progress made during Modi’s visit to Washington DC in June, focusing on strengthening high-tech cooperation. This includes advancements in critical and emerging technologies.

Global Concerns in Focus In addition to economic and technological matters, the leaders will address global issues, such as the situation in Ukraine, US-China relations, and complexities surrounding India-China relations, particularly along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Discussions regarding the India-US nuclear deal and civil nuclear liability agreement are also on the agenda, along with announcements of new investments.

Trade Challenges and Opportunities Trade-related issues will play a significant role in the talks. Recent developments include the withdrawal of WTO cases by the US against India and India’s reduction of tariff increases on certain US commodities. The US is keen on India’s participation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum’s ‘Trade’ pillar, a prospect that India has been cautious about embracing.

Acquisition of Armed Drones The Defence Ministry is preparing to issue a Letter of Request (LoR) for the acquisition of 31 General Atomic MQ-9B armed drones for the Navy, Army, and Air Force, with an estimated cost of around US$ 3 billion. The deal is expected to be formally announced when President Biden visits India in January as the Chief Guest for Republic Day.

Addressing Nuclear Concerns Both countries are looking to overcome obstacles related to India’s nuclear liability legislation. Collaboration on Small Modular Reactors has been announced to enhance nuclear cooperation.

Jet Engine Manufacturing General Electric (GE) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have signed an MoU to manufacture the 414 jet engine in India, powering India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-MK2. The contract, approved by the US Congress, is set to be finalized soon, with GE sharing critical technologies with HAL for manufacturing.

The bilateral meeting holds significant implications for India-US relations and cooperation on various fronts.


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