New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden reaffirmed their nations’ close ties and commitment to developing robust global semiconductor supply chains during their meeting before the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, building on discussions from their June bilateral meeting.

Biden also reiterated America’s support for India’s longstanding demand for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and expressed support for India’s candidacy for another term in the UNSC as a non-permanent member in 2028-29.

“The leaders called on their governments to continue the work of transforming the India-US Strategic Partnership across all dimensions of our multifaceted global agenda, based on trust and mutual understanding," a joint statement released by the White House after their meeting said.

Defence cooperation received a boost during Modi’s June state visit to the US after General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the manufacture of GE F-414 jet engines in India, for HAL’s Light Combat Aircraft Mk 2. The deal cleared the notification process required by US Congress with no objections raised, which means that both governments can now negotiate the terms of the agreement. It is expected to involve significant transfer of technology to India.

Modi and Biden also spoke of India’s intent to purchase MQ-9B Predator drones from US firm General Atomics. The two leaders also welcomed India’s role as a repair and maintenance hub for US Navy vessels and increased efforts to bring private players in the defence industry together.

Semiconductors, a key strategic focus for both countries, also featured in the talks. “The leaders reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains, noting in this respect a multi-year initiative of Microchip Technology, Inc., to invest approximately $300 million in expanding its research and development presence in India and Advanced Micro Device’s announcement to invest $400 million in India over the next five years to expand research, development, and engineering operations in India," the joint statement said.

Scientific collaboration, spanning space exploration, quantum computing, and biotechnology, was also a focus of the discussions. Biden congratulated Modi for India’s success with the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Talks on cooperation on 5G, 6G and other advanced technologies also took place.

India and the US agreed to resolve seven disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the June meeting between Modi and Biden. Of this, six WTO disputes were mutually resolved after the prime minister’s visit to the US. Among them, three were initiated by the US and the other three by India and involved measures on solar cells and solar modules, the renewable energy sector, as well as measures on steel and aluminium products. Both countries then moved towards resolving the seventh dispute over poultry products. The leaders also discussed democracy and human rights during their meeting. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had indicated prior to the bilateral meeting that Biden would bring up these issues.

“The leaders re-emphasized that the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens are critical to the success our countries enjoy and that these values strengthen our relationship," the joint statement reads.

The leaders also discussed the upcoming G20 Summit, where the two countries will be part of talks to reform multilateral development banks, secure increased climate financing and provide debt relief to developing countries.

On Friday, Modi also met with Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh. On Saturday, he is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of the UK, Japan, Germany and Italy. On Sunday, he will hold a lunch meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. besides leaders of Canada, the UAE, South Korea, Brazil, Nigeria, Comoros and Türkiye.