The world order is on the brink of transformation as the United States and Europe, long reliant on China’s cheap labor and accommodating infrastructure, begin to reassess their partnerships. China’s increasing oppression of businesses and its evident ambition for global dominance have raised concerns among governments and corporations alike. As the spotlight shifts, attention is turning toward India as a potential alternative. With its abundant inexpensive labor force, talented population, and leadership that appears less inclined to seek world domination, India is emerging as a viable contender for international collaborations.
A significant indication of this shift in focus is the upcoming state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States. Esteemed tech executives, including Tim Cook of Apple, Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, and Raj Subramaniam of FedEx, will be attending the White House state dinner to engage in discussions about technology transfer and diversifying away from China. In a separate meeting, Modi will convene with tech leaders to explore these topics further.
China’s stumbling economy has prompted U.S. corporate leaders to prioritize discussions with Prime Minister Modi. The state dinner, seen as a remarkable accomplishment for India, signifies the immense opportunity at hand. The stage is set for fruitful collaborations, with CEOs from prominent companies such as Marriott and Cummins also in attendance. The most notable deal on the horizon is General Electric’s plan to co-produce military jet engines in India alongside Hindustan Aeronautics. Strengthening defense and security ties between the United States and India, particularly regarding critical technology sharing and defense equipment intellectual property, is expected to be a major outcome of the visit.
Moreover, India’s desire to bolster its security infrastructure aligns with General Atomics’ potential agreement to supply New Delhi with new drones. This move comes at a time when India is actively enhancing its security measures.
Modi’s visit to the United States follows Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s high-profile meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at easing tensions between the world’s two largest economies. The China factor looms large as Modi meets with President Biden and U.S. executives to discuss ways to diversify away from China and mitigate its growing power. The common interest shared by the United States and India in managing China’s rise solidifies their desire to establish a stronger alliance.
China’s economic slowdown, coupled with escalating political tensions, has led corporate America to seek alternatives. Apple’s recent foray into India with the opening of two retail stores and the relocation of iPhone production signals a strategic move away from China. There are reports that Apple may also shift some iPad production to India, although challenges such as unskilled labor and weak infrastructure pose obstacles for U.S. businesses seeking expansion in the country.
Sources close to Modi reveal that the Indian leader aims to address these concerns and encourage more U.S. companies to invest in manufacturing in India. In fact, Modi recently met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk to discuss the possibility of opening a factory in India. The Indian government is actively working to attract foreign investments and foster an environment conducive to business growth.
The importance of India in countering China’s dominance is not lost on the Biden administration. As the world’s most populous country and the fifth-largest economy, India’s increasing prominence demands attention. The shared concerns over China’s aggressive and expansionist agenda have laid the groundwork for an ever-growing alliance between the United States and India. Geopolitically, India has become a linchpin in the framework of deterrence designed to counter China’s hegemonic ambitions. The strategic partnership between the United States and India is steadily deepening, encompassing defense cooperation, technology collaboration, and economic ties.
As China’s influence faces scrutiny and its economy grapples with challenges, India stands as a beacon of stability and opportunity in the global arena. The upcoming meetings between Prime Minister Modi and top tech executives serve as a testament to the growing recognition of India’s potential and the shifting dynamics in the balance of power. With concerted efforts and strengthened alliances, the United States, Europe, and India aim to reshape the international landscape and foster a more balanced and sustainable global order.