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Modi to talk techology, trade on US visit

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the United States (US) yesterday to meet with President Joe Biden and address Congress, with military and technological ties on the agenda.

The leader of the world’s most populous nation will also receive all the pomp of a state dinner at the White House tomorrow – only Biden’s third since his inauguration.

Analysts expect landmark announcements in clean energy and strategic technology, including a deal to jointly produce fighter jet engines. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, on a visit to New Delhi earlier this month, announced an “ambitious new roadmap for defence industrial cooperation” with India.

It has been linked to a likely announcement, expected at this week’s summit, of a long-discussed multibillion-dollar plan to co-produce the jet engines in India.

New Delhi has been trying to become less dependent on Russian military hardware by diversifying imports and boosting domestic production.

With many countries wooing Modi, Washington hopes its co-production and technology offers will help secure a key market.

India head of The Asia Group advisory firm Ashok Malik said US-India ties were defined by “pragmatism and deep alignment at the government level”, with “very strong” economic and business links.

Modi will also meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken – who on Sunday visited Beijing on the highest-level trip by a US official in nearly five years.

United States President Joe Biden with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Quad leaders summit in 2022 at Tokyo, Japan. PHOTO: AP