As niggling differences over trade issues dominate the bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, New Delhi clears the air, that it will choose the 5G technology partner that will uphold its “Make In India” programme.
New Delhi (Sputnik): In a major sign to global 5G equipment makers, the Indian Prime Minister has stated “whatever choices India makes” in the future will depend on the degree of the “Make in India” component in their collaboration. While outlining that India has a potential one billion users of the 5G technology, Modi stressed during his bilateral meeting with the US President that the way India moves on 5G would “essentially determine the way the global trend will go”.
“The Prime Minister said it is important that we collaborate. India and the United States in this regard to see how we can leverage this, the billion Indian users, India’s capacity in technological development in start-up and design and Silicon Valley and its role in developing 5G technology for mutual benefit.” India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said while emphasising that the Prime Minister’s real focus was on Make in India and the potential that this huge technology has in that goal or objective.
“President Trump said that he looks forward to working with us and it was again decided to continue the conversation through meetings at the technical level as well as at the level of the Secretaries of State and External Affairs Minister on our side and the technical ministers on both side,” Gokhale said.
The statement holds high importance, as the two countries have serious differences over trade issues such as higher tariffs on US goods, revocation of tax privileges on $5.6 billion in Indian exports to the US and India’s e-commerce policy. Trump, on Thursday, stated that the retaliatory tariffs on 28 American goods imposed by India on 16 June were “unacceptable”.
The US has been making persistent attempts to sidestep Chinese tech giant Huawei in implementing India’s 5G network, promising to help New Delhi to “establish secure communications networks including 5G networks”.
Indian Minister for Communication Ravi Shankar Prasad on 26 June said so far six proposals have been received which “include proposals from China’s ZTE and Huawei” for 5G technology trials in India expected to be rolled out by September of this year.
Last week, the Chinese foreign ministry asked India, which has been talking to other countries on the issues of Huawei, to make an “independent judgement and provide a fair, unbiased and non-discriminatory environment” to Huawei for mutual benefit. Huawei has its biggest research and development centre in Bengaluru and will partner with Vodafone to take part in the 5G trial if chosen by the Indian government.
The US has repeatedly accused Huawei of installing so-called backdoors on its products to allegedly assist Beijing in espionage efforts. Meanwhile, making an aggressive attempt to counter this allegation, Huawei has already made an offer to sign a “no backdoor” agreement with the Indian government and promised to keep all servers in India.
Washington barred Huawei’s equipment from use in the country and banned US companies from transferring technologies and software to it earlier this year.