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India and Japan sign pact to create semiconductor ecosystem

After multiple rounds of discussions between the Indian and Japanese government, the two nations have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to build a resilient semiconductor ecosystem. The MoC signed between India and Japan will cover semiconductor development, manufacturing, research, design and talent development. The development comes weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to United States of America, and a week ahead of the Semicon India 2023, scheduled between July 28-30, in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, which will witness the presence of some of the world leaders from semiconductor ecosystem.

Minister of Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw, while briefing media, said: “India’s Semiconductor Mission is progressing at a fast pace. Step by step, we are achieving new milestones. Today, we have reached a decision where Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan and our Ministry of Electronics & IT (MEITY), signed on behalf of the two governments a memorandum of cooperation. Will be taking it forward through our industry-to-industry collaboration and also through government-to-government.” Minister Vaishnaw further added that everybody wants a resilient semiconductor supply chain. And in this, India and Japan are very important partners.

Under the MoC, an implementation organisation will be created, which will present opportunities for government-to-government and industry-to-industry collaborations.

While India is just beginning its semiconductor manufacturing journey, Japan is a leading player in the industry. It has companies who not just manufacture chips but provide raw materials such as ingot, wafers, gases and more to even the world chip leaders such as Taiwan. And as India is aiming to bring semiconductor manufacturing in-house, it will need resilient supply of all the raw materials, which partnering with a country like Japan can be bring in.

Before singing MoC with Japan, in May last year, US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the US-India initiative on critical and emerging technology.

Under iCET, both India and USA are focusing on building a resilient semiconductor supply chain in-house. The nations are enhancing bilateral collaboration on resilient semiconductor supply chains along with supporting the development of a semiconductor design, manufacturing, and fabrication ecosystem in India; and leveraging complementary strengths, both countries intend to promote the development of a skilled workforce that will support global semiconductor supply chains and encourage the development of joint ventures and technology partnerships on mature technology nodes and packaging in India.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics and IT, told Business Today exclusively that the partnership with the US will prevent India from such supply chain disruptions. “The India-US initiative on Critical & Emerging Technology (iCET) precisely ensures that there is no such control or abuse of supply chains. This India-US initiative on Critical & Emerging Technology also covers materials. The world today is working closely with a new India to develop trusted global supply chains. Under PM Narendra Modi ji, India-US partnership as well as India’s partnerships with like-minded countries will define the future of technology & global supply chains.”

During the inaugural meeting of iCET in Washington, DC, in January, the two sides discussed opportunities for greater cooperation and identified biotechnology, advanced materials, and rare earth processing technology as areas for future cooperation. BusinessToday

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