On May 23-24, 2022, the Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi paid a visit to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese PM Fumio Kishida to participate in the 4th and 2nd in-person QUAD (Quadrilateral) Leaders’ Meeting 2022 in Tokyo, Japan on 24 May 2022 along with the United States (US) President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.; and PM of Australia, Anthony Norman Albanese.
- The QUAD countries are Australia, India, Japan, and the US.
Highlights of QUAD Leaders’ Meeting 2022:
In the summit, the leaders exchanged views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and contemporary global issues of mutual interest. They reviewed the progress of Quad initiatives and Working Groups, identified new areas of cooperation and provide strategic guidance and vision for future collaboration.
i.Announcement of Q-CHAMP:
The meeting saw the announcement of a Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP) with ‘mitigation’ and ‘adaptation’ as its two themes.
- Q-CHAMP will strengthen the efforts towards green shipping, clean energy cooperation in clean hydrogen and methane emissions from the natural gas sector; and climate and disaster resilient infrastructure, among others.
- It will also cover new cooperation in clean fuel ammonia, CCUS- Carbon capture, utilisation and storage/Carbon Recycling, cooperation and capacity building support to advance high integrity carbon markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
ii.Rolling out of IPMDA:
QUAD nations also rolled out the Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) that allows the partner countries to fully monitor the waters on their shores and help ensure peace and stability in the region.
IPMDA will support and work in consultation with Indo-Pacific nations and regional information fusion centres in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands by providing technology and training.
- It will offer a near-real-time, integrated, and cost-effective maritime domain awareness picture, and allow tracking of ‘dark shipping’ and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea.
- The Indian Navy’s information fusion centre in Gurugram is s likely to be a key part of the IPMDA.
iii.Launch of QUAD Fellowship Program:
The QUAD nations also announced the launch of ‘Quad Fellowship program’ which will be offered by the Quad to students from four countries. It is a philanthropic initiative led by the Schmidt Futures to annually provide 25 students from each Quad country with financial support to do their master’s and doctoral degrees at Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) universities in the US.
- It will encourage academic excellence and promote people-to-people linkages between the Quad countries.
- It will empower exceptional STEM graduate students to advance research and innovation throughout their careers
- June 30, 2022 is the last date for submitting applications. The first class of Quad Fellows will arrive on campus in autumn 2023.
iv. ∼ $50bn in Infrastructure Investment
The leaders also committed to deepen cooperation on infrastructure by addressing debt issues, and extending more than $50bn in infrastructure assistance and investment in the Indo-Pacific over the next 5 years.
v.Announcement of Quad Partnership on HADR
A Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) for the Indo-Pacific was also announced by the Leaders to enable more effective and timely responses to disasters in the region.
- They agreed to provide countries in the region resources on earth observation data through a Quad satellite data portal to help track climate events, disaster preparedness and sustainable use of marine resources.
vi.Leaders reiterated their commitment to combat terrorism.
vii.They welcomed the enhanced manufacturing capacity of Biological-E facility in India and called for the expeditious grant of EUL (Emergency Use Listing Procedure) approval by the WHO (World Health Organization) so that delivery of vaccines can commence.
- The Leaders welcomed the gift of 525,000 doses of Made in India vaccines by India to Thailand and Cambodia in April 2022 under the Quad Vaccine Partnership.
viii.The Leaders agreed to continue their dialogue and consultations.
- The next Summit will be hosted by Australia in 2023.
US President Joe Biden launches IPEF; 13 countries including India join the Initiative
On May 23, 2022, US President Joe Biden launches Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in Tokyo in the presence of PM Kishida Fumio, and PM Narendra Modi as well as the virtual presence of leaders of other partner countries.
13 Nation who joined IPEF:
India, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States and Vietnam
- Together, these countries represent 40% of world GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
i.The IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership amongst participating countries with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
ii.A Joint Statement was issued highlighting the key elements envisaged within the IPEF.
iii.IPEF is a declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific region an engine of global economic growth.
iv.The foundation of resilient supply chains is the major focus area for the Framework, and will be premised upon 3Ts – Trust, Transparency, and Timeliness.
Indo-Japanese PMs Meet:
PM Narendra Modi had a bilateral Meeting with PM Fumio Kishida during which they carried forward their conversations from the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit held in March 2022, when PM Kishida visited India. They exchanged views on recent global and regional developments.
Key Decisions Taken:
i.The two leaders agreed to further enhance bilateral security and defence cooperation, including in the area of defence manufacturing.
- The next 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting will be held in Japan at the earliest.
ii.They agreed to jointly work towards implementing their decision to have 5 trillion yen in public and private investment and financing from Japan to India in the next 5 years.
- Already 24 Japanese companies had successfully applied under the various PLI (Production Linked Incentive) schemes.
iii.They agreed to encourage greater collaboration between private sectors of two sides in development of next generation communication technologies. They also discussed possibilities of collaboration in critical and emerging technologies such as 5G, Beyond 5G and semiconductors.
iv.They agreed to deepen cooperation in the area of Clean Energy including green hydrogen and, in this regard, encouraged more business to business collaboration.
v.They agreed to further boost people-to-people linkages, and in this regard, there will be implementation of the Specified Skilled Workers (SSW) programme.
vi.The Japnese PM invited PM Narendra Modi to visit Japan for the next Annual Bilateral Summit, which was accepted by the Indian side.
Indian PM meeting with US President:
PM Narendra Modi had a bilateral meeting with the President of the US Joseph R. Biden Jr. as a continuation of their regular dialogue. They interacted most recently in virtual mode on 11 April 2022. The two Leaders reviewed the India-US Strategic Partnership, and exchanged views on regional and global developments of shared interest.
i.Both sides launched an India-U.S. Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) to facilitate outcome-oriented cooperation.
- Co-led by the National Security Council Secretariat in India and the U.S. National Security Council, iCET would forge closer linkages between government, academia and industry of the two countries in areas such as AI, quantum computing, 5G/6G, biotech, space and semiconductors.
ii.India and USA extended the longstanding Vaccine Action Programme (VAP) until 2027 to continue joint biomedical research.
IIA between the GoI and the US
The Government of India (GoI) and the Government of the US has signed an Investment Incentive Agreement (IIA) in Tokyo. This IIA supersedes the IIA signed between GoI and the Government of the US in the year 1997.
The IIA was signed by Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary, GoI, and Scott Nathan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
Significant developments have taken place since the signing of the earlier IIA in 1997. So, to keep pace with the additional investment support programs, offered by the DFC, such as debt, equity investment, investment guaranty, investment insurance or reinsurance, feasibility studies for potential projects and grants, this IIA was signed.
i.The Agreement is the legal requirement for DFC, to continue providing investment support in India. DFC or their predecessor agencies are active in India since 1974 and have so far provided investment support worth $5.8 billion of which $2.9 billion is still outstanding.
ii.Proposals worth $4 billion are under consideration by DFC for providing investment support in India.
iii.DFC has provided investment support in sectors that matter for development such as COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, healthcare financing, renewable energy, SME financing, financial inclusion, infrastructure etc.
Indo-Australia PMs Meet:
He also had a bilateral Meeting with Australian PM to review the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and to exchange views on regional and global developments of mutual interest.
- The last bilateral meeting between the two Prime Ministers was held virtually on March 21, 2022 followed by the signing of the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) on April 2, 2022.
i.Indian PM meeting with Japan-India Association (JIA)
PM Narendra Modi met former Japanese PMs Yoshiro Mori and Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan. Yoshiro Mori is the current Chairperson of the Japan-India Association (JIA) while Shinzo Abe will be taking over this role shortly.
- The JIA, established in 1903, is one of the oldest friendship associations in Japan.
- Indian side appreciated the contributions made by JIA in promoting exchanges between India and Japan in political, economic and cultural fields.
- They discussed India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership as well as shared the vision of India and Japan for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
ii.PM Narendra Modi chaired a roundtable with Japanese Business Leaders in Tokyo
PM Narendra Modi chaired the roundtable with Japanese Business Leaders in Tokyo which was attended by top executives and CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) of 34 Japanese companies.
- Majority of these companies have investments and operations in India.
- He invited greater participation by Japanese companies in India and proposed celebrating Japan’s contribution to India’s development journey in the form of a ‘Japan Week’.
iii.Narendra Modi met Masayoshi Son, Board Director and Founder, SoftBank Group Corp. in Tokyo t discuss various reforms being undertaken to enable ease of doing business in India.
iv.He met Osamu Suzuki, Senior Advisor, Suzuki Motor Corporation in Tokyo. They appreciated that Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt. Ltd. and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. were among the applicants approved under PLI scheme in automobile and auto component sector.
- They also discussed strategies for building the local innovation system in India, including skill development through Japan-India Institutes of Manufacturing (JIM) and Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC).
v.He also met Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President & CEO of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., the parent company of Uniqlo; and Dr. Nobuhiro Endo, Chairman, NEC Corporation in Tokyo.
vi.PM Narendra Modi addressed and interacted with over 700 members of Indian diaspora in Japan.
vii.PM also met Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees in Japan
viii.He invited the Indian Community to join and take forward the campaign of ‘Bharat Chalo, Bharat se Judo’.
The group was established shortly after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 to coordinate humanitarian assistance. It fell into obscurity for over a decade until 2017, when the Quad members decided to step up joint military exercises.
- The first QUAD Leaders’ Meeting held in March 2021, in-person Summit in Washington D.C., US in September 2021; and virtual meeting in March 2022.
- It has also established six leader-level working groups on the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, technology, cybersecurity, space and infrastructure.