United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Saturday said that technology companies like Apple and Google have expanded their phone production in India, and as the US looks forward to the future, she is eager to deepen ties in the technology sector.
Yellen was speaking at the roundtable with US and Indian tech business leaders in Bengaluru on the sidelines of the first finance ministers and central bank governors meeting under the India’s G20 Presidency.
“I am eager to deepen out ties in the technology sector. The US is advancing an approach called “friendshoring” to bolster the resilience of our supply chains. We are doing this by strengthening integration with our many trusted trading partners-including India. We are seeing progress, as an example, technology companies like Apple and Google have expanded their phone production in India,” Yellen said.
Janet said through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), the US is investing in digital technologies that will drive inclusive and resilient growth in India.
Under PGII, the US has announced investment in agri-tech to enable climate-smart agricultural production, and in digital payments systems for micro-entrepreneurs, Yellen said, adding that these stand alongside investments, in renewable energy, health and other infrastructure sectors in India.
Overall, the secretary said the US aims to mobilise $200 billion through 2027 for PGII and the US looks forward to partnering with India to continue investing in future.
The Roundtable was attended by top chief executives like Sandip Patel from IBM, Nandan Nilekani from Infosys, Nivruti Rai from Intel, Rishad Premji from Wipro, Josh Foulger from Foxconn, Vikram Rai from GE, Rekha Menon from Accenture, Alexander Slater from US India Business Council (USIBC) and Nivedita Mehra from US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
Yellen’s said that US is India’s biggest trading partner.
“In 2021, our bilateral trade was over $150 billion. Our people-to-people ties affirm the closeness of our relationship. 200,000 Indians are studying in America and enriching our schools and universities,” she said, adding, “We depend on each other on a daily basis. Indians use WhatsApp to communicate and many American companies rely on Infosys to operate.”
Yellen’s last visit to India was in November for the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership.
Nandan Nilekeni, non-executive chairman, Infosys, said Infosys has 330,000 global workforce. Infosys has strong base in the US — A world-class training centre in Indianapolis only meant for Americans. Nilekeni said, “We have recruited 7,000 fresh graduate this year. We work with all the US universities and have education institutes with 1,200 teachers in the US and we want to expand that.”
Nilekani said that Infosys runs the Indian tax system at backend. “Entire income tax and goods and services tax (GST) system is run by Infosys at the backend, which is all digital and paperless,” he added.
He also said that US has invented internet and global positioning system (GPS). “We realised that if we enable public infrastructure through the government at scale and make it open standard at the level playing field and being innovator at top, magic like Aadhar, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) happens,” Nilekani added.
Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia said that it was great to meet and discuss the strengthening India-US trusted technology partnership.
“Proactive policy measures on critical and emerging tech will bolster friend-shoring and benefit economy and people of both nations,” he added.