Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman calls on US semiconductor manufacturers to invest in India

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged American semiconductor firms AMD, Western Digital and Micron Tech to boost investment in India, benefiting from a Rs 76,000 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme recently announced to woo major chipmakers.

At a meeting in San Francisco with top executives from semiconductor companies, Sitharaman highlighted the opportunities for American companies in India and stressed the government’s commitment to be a trusted player in the entire semiconductor industry at a time when global companies are engaged in this space -Value chain looking to diversify away from China.

Separately, according to Bloomberg, India is in talks with global chipmakers Intel Corp, GlobalFoundries Inc and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co about setting up local operations as part of an effort to center more high-tech manufacturing in the country. “I do most of the pitches for these big companies myself,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a former Intel engineer and current Minister of State for Technology and Entrepreneurship, told the news outlet. “We meet the CEOs, talk to them, give presentations.”

Sitharaman also held a series of meetings with other investors in the US, exhorting them to be part of Indian history.

According to International Monetary Fund projections, the country will remain the fastest growing major economy in the world for at least the next two years.

A crippling shortage of semiconductors in the global market after the pandemic hit domestic supplies of cars, laptops and mobile phones, prompting the government to introduce the PLI program in December 2021 to boost India’s chip manufacturing.

AMD Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar spoke about the company’s growth in India and how the country could achieve strong growth with the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

Similarly, Dan Steere, Western Digital’s senior vice president (corporate business development), said his company looks forward to exploring opportunities with the government to expand manufacturing in India. Manish Bhatia, Micron Tech’s executive vice president (global operations), said the PLI program would help boost semiconductor manufacturing in India.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that India will outperform China in economic growth despite the damaging impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and other external headwinds. At 8.2%, India’s growth rate this year is expected to surpass China’s 4.4%. While India is expected to grow by 6.9% in the next fiscal year, China’s expansion is set at 5.1%.

FM imposes itself with VCs, PE players

The finance minister also attended a meeting with venture capitalists (VCs) and private equity investors (PE) focused on the clean energy sector. Discussion included clean energy generation potential in India, energy alternatives, energy from waste, green steel, carbon capture, etc., according to the Ministry of Finance.

First Solar chief executive Mark Widmar has spoken to the Treasury Secretary about his company’s $700 million investment in India, according to a Treasury Department tweet. First Solar’s facility will soon be operational in India and is the lowest cost facility in any jurisdiction, with a very low carbon footprint and recycling of 90% of the material, according to Widmar.

FM meets Uber CEO

Sitharaman met Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who briefed her on the company’s expansion plan in India. Khosrowshahi said with investments in the backend to support expansion, he was “positively confident” of quadrupling Uber’s growth in India, according to a Treasury Department tweet.

“Treasury Secretary Smt. Confirming @Uber’s expansion plans in India, @nsitharaman said technology plays an important role in empowering the transportation and mobility sector and last-mile connectivity,” read another tweet. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman calls on US semiconductor manufacturers to invest in India

Chris Barrese

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