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Business News/ Companies / News/  Modi, Qualcomm CEO discuss semiconductor

Modi, Qualcomm CEO discuss semiconductor

The meeting with Amon was Modi’s first engagement after his arrival in the US

Cristiano Amon, chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc. (Bloomberg)Premium
Cristiano Amon, chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc. (Bloomberg)

NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met chip giant Qualcomm’s chief executive office (CEO) Cristiano Amon in the United States (US) today. According to an announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the PM discussed investment opportunities in India’s telecom and electronics sectors, and the government’s recently announced production linked incentive schemes for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM).  

Further, the two also discussed developments in India’s semiconductor supply chain and strategies to build the “local innovation ecosystem" in the country. 

Modi arrived in Washington overnight Thursday on a three day official visit to the US, the highpoint of which will be an in person meeting of the leaders of the four Quad countries – India, Australia, the US and Japan. 

The meeting with Amon was Modi’s first engagement after his arrival.

The Indian government has been working on schemes to attract semiconductor companies to the country. In May, Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said that the government had received expressions of interests (EoIs) from several semiconductor firms and will come out with a scheme for semiconductors in the next six months. 

In June, Rajeev Khushu, chairman of the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), said that the government has received over 20 EoIs from semiconductor firms who want to set up shops in India. 

Last month, N Chandrashekharan, chairman of the Tata Group, confirmed that the company is looking to enter the semiconductor space. “At the Tata group, we have already pivoted into a number of new businesses like electronics manufacturing, 5G network equipment as well as semiconductors, in all probability," Chandrashekharan said, while speaking at the annual general meeting of the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

The Vedanta Group has also been said to be interested in forming strategic partnerships that will allow the company to enter the semiconductor industry. Khushu said that India should focus on specialty fabs, which play a key role in power, health and other important sectors. 

On Thursday, Modi also met top officials of Adobe, First Solar, General Atomics Global Corporation and Blackstone.  

In his meeting with Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, Modi and and Narayen “discussed Adobe’s ongoing collaboration and future investment plans in India. Discussions also focused on India’s flagship programme Digital India, and use of emerging technologies in sectors like health, education and R&D," a foreign ministry statement said. 

Talks with Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar focused on India’s plans to generate 450 GW of energy from renewables including solar, the statement said.  

“Discussions also took place about First Solar’s interest in setting up manufacturing facilities in India using their unique thin-film technology by availing the recently launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, as well integrating India into global supply chains," it said. 

The meeting between Modi and Vivek Lall, Chief Executive of General Atomics Global Corporation focused on “ strengthening the defence technology sector in India. Lall appreciated the recent policy changes to accelerate defence and emerging technology manufacturing and augment capacity building in India," the statement said. 

In his meeting with Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, Modi was briefed about “Blackstone’s ongoing projects in India, and their interest in further investments in the infrastructure and real estate sectors. Promising investment opportunities in India including those under National Infrastructure Pipeline and National Monetisation Pipeline were also discussed," the statement added. 

Modi’s other engagements on Thursday include two bilateral meeting with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Japan and a meeting with the US Vice President Kamala Harris.  

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Prasid Banerjee
An engineering dropout, Prasid Banerjee has reported on technology in India for various publications. He reports on technology through text and audio, focusing on its core aspects, like consumer impact, policy and the future.
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Published: 23 Sep 2021, 09:59 PM IST
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