Founder and chairman of the Adani Group, Gautam Adani on 7 September was honoured with the USIBC 2022 Global Leadership Award. The theme of USIBC’s India Ideas Summit was ‘Maximizing the Next 75 Years of US-India Prosperity’ .
While receiving the award, Adani highlighted the need for strengthening India-US partnerships and pointed out four strategic areas like climate change, semiconductors, healthcare, defence and cyber where both India and US need to make a combined effort.
“There can be no disagreement that given the fast, evolving and new emerging global dynamics, the success of partnership between the two largest global democracies of India and the US will be one of the most defining relationships of this century,” he said.
Listing out imperatives for US-India engagement, Adani said the combined value of the GDP of the two nations in 2050 is expected to be a staggering USD 70 trillion dollars or 35-40 per cent of the global economy. By that year, the combined population of the two countries will be over 2 billion with a median age of less than 40 years as compared to the already median age of 44 in Europe and 40 in China.
“When seen through these lenses of economics and the raw power of consumption it is evident that the existing 150 billion dollars of bilateral trade between the US and India is no more than a speck in the ocean. Far more needs to be done,” he said.
As per Adani, the first and foremost strategic area is Climate Change.
Speaking about climate change, he said, “There has been a lot of talk about developed nations supporting developing nations. But far more needs to be done urgently. With signing of US Climate Bill into law, both nations must find a mechanism to benefit from this,” he said.
He further said that his ports-to-power conglomerate will build three giga factories for manufacturing solar modules, wind turbines, and hydrogen electrolyzers as part of a $70 billion investment in clean energy by 2030. These giga factories will “extend from polysilicon to solar modules, complete manufacturing of wind turbines, and the manufacturing of hydrogen electrolyzers,” he said.
This, he said, will generate an additional 45 GW of renewable energy to add to Adani group’s existing 20 GW capacity, as well as 3 million tons of hydrogen by 2030.
Second Second strategic area, he said, is semiconductors.
“We live in a world where semiconductors are essential to almost all sectors of the economy. The ongoing war has only accelerated this recognition. The paradox of capitalism is that India continues to be the best global pool for millions of engineers – especially for US companies – but the primary value addition to the businesses happens outside India,” he said.
The semiconductor industry is a classic example with more engineers deployed in India than anywhere else in the world, and yet, India has no semiconductor plant. India cannot remain dependent on global supply chains that are based on semiconductor nationalism and will need US support with technology transfer, he said.
Speaking about the third strategic area, healthcare, Adani said, “We saw the way national priorities took over during the Covid-19 pandemic and the availability of vaccines became a game of votes and capitalism.”
He also said that vaccine collaboration between our nations must be high on our priority list and needs to be formalized in a mutually beneficial way.
As per Adani, Defence and Cyber are two critical areas that the US and India must work on.
“India needs support in both these areas and at this time we are just skimming the surface. These are two essential areas where our partnerships must span technology transfer to be able to build mutual confidence,” he said.
He further urged the USIBC to facilitate a broader platform that brings together executives from similar industries on both sides on a regular basis.
Given annually since 2007, the Global Leadership Award recognises top corporate executives from India and the US, who demonstrate an active and dynamic commitment to strengthening the US-India partnership, it added.
Previous recipients of this award include Jeff Bezos, founder, executive chairman and former president and CEO of Amazon; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google; Adena Friedman, President and CEO of Nasdaq; Fred Smith, Founder and Chairman of FedEx Corporation; and Uday Kotak, CEO of Kotak Mahindra.