Quad Summit 2021: a joint initiative for a secure semiconductor supply chain

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Washington this month, September 24, to participate in the first in-person Quad Security Dialogue or Quad summit with his counterparts from Japan, the United States and Australia. The summit will focus broadly on various global challenges, including how to ensure a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. The four countries will also deliberate and review the Covid-19 vaccination initiative that was launched earlier in March.

On September 25, Modi is also expected to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Now, ahead of the Quad Summit, the leaders of the Quad nations have decided to focus on creating a secure supply chain for semiconductors. This implies that the four nations are eager to expand their reach against manufacturing giant China in the Indo-Pacific. By focusing on technological development, the four-country framework may soon confirm resilient, diverse and secure technology supply chains for hardware and software that are of the utmost importance to their national interest.

A joint statement was issued which highlighted the challenges currently facing with regard to the illicit transfer and theft of technology. Therefore, the four nations believe that the technology should be designed and developed in such a way that it can be shared and shaped by the countries on democratic values.

Joint Initiative on Microchip Manufacturing Technology

The statement said the countries were preparing to launch a joint initiative to determine individual capacity and vulnerability in the semiconductor supply chain. Meanwhile, the four nations, the United States and Japan have 30% of the chip manufacturing capacity, while Australia and India do not have major chip makers.

India’s journey to chipmaking

The Indian semiconductor industry offers areas with great growth potential for the future of the country. In recent years, the government has placed more emphasis on this sector in order to achieve a certain degree of self-sufficiency in the electronics sector. Various government interventions have been taken over the years:

– In 2017-18, the government increased the allocation of incentive programs to Rs 745 crore to boost the semiconductor industry as well as the electronics manufacturing industry.

– The government also plans to invest US $ 10 billion in two computer chip manufacturing plants to focus on high-end innovation.

– The Cabinet of the Union has reconstituted a committee on the establishment of manufacturing facilities for semiconductor wafers in the country.

Quad Summit 2021: the program

The theme of the year of the Quad Summit revolves around building resilience through the hope of recovering from Covid-19, of rebuilding sustainably, of meeting the needs of the planet, of respecting the rights of people and of revitalizing United Nations. The September Quad Summit will focus on deepening ties and promoting practical cooperation in areas such as:

– Fight against the coronavirus pandemic
– Emerging technologies & cyberspace
– Facing the climate crisis
– Promote a free and open Indo-Pacific

In addition to reviewing the Covid-19 vaccine initiative, leaders will also exchange views on contemporary global issues such as connectivity and infrastructure, maritime security, cybersecurity, climate change, humanitarian aid / disaster relief. In an account of recent developments in Afghanistan and the subsequent increase in global terrorist threats, the four leaders are expected to take this as part of the discussions.

About the quadrilateral security dialogue

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad is a strategic dialogue comprising Japan, India, the United States and Australia. The Quad was founded in 2007 by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, US Vice President Dick Cheney and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The strategic summit was put on hold after Australia pulled out during the tenure of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. However, dialogue resumed at the ASEAN summits in 2017, when the four leaders of India, the United States, Japan and Australia agreed to rekindle the alliance.

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