US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen on Saturday said the US is eager to deepen its tie with India in the technology sector.
Yellen was addressing a roundtable with US and Indian tech business leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ (FMCBG) Meeting here.
“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 such as Apple and Google have expanded their phone production in India,” she said.
The US in its new ‘friendshoring’ approach is diversifying away from countries that present geopolitical and security risks to our supply chain. The friendshoring approach involves partnering with developing countries to grow local industries and connect them to the global supply chain.
Terming the Indian economy as the most dynamic in the world and calling India the biggest trading partner of the US, she said bilateral trade was over $150 billion. “Our people-to-people ties affirm the closeness of our relationship. 200,000 Indians study in America and enrich 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,” she said.
The roundtable was attended by top tech honchos, 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.
Through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, or PGII, she said, the US is investing in digital technologies that will drive inclusive, resilient growth in India. Under PGII, she said, the US has announced investments in agri-tech to enable climate-smart agricultural production, and in digital payments systems for micro-entrepreneurs.
These stand alongside investments in renewable energy, health, and other infrastructure sectors in India, she said, adding, the US aims to mobilise $200 billion through 2027 for PGII, and looks forward to partnering with India to continue investing in its future.
During the roundtable, Nilekani said Infosys has opened new centres in six American states in the last few years and hired 25,000 workers there in the last six years. “We have focused heavily on localisation. The total global workforce is 3,30,000. We have built a 160,000 square feet training centre in Indianapolis. We have hired 7,000 fresh graduates this year. Our aim is to pick young, talented people, including from community colleges, and invest in their training,” he said.