Mike Pompeo Urges India to Move ‘Supply Chains Away from China’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a speech event on India Policy organised b
MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that India should focus on domestic supply chains to become less dependent on China for telecommunications and medical supplies, Reuters reported.

India has a chance to move “supply chains away from China and reduce its reliance on Chinese companies in areas like telecommunications, medical supplies, and others,” Pompeo said Wednesday at the U.S.-India Business Council’s India Ideas Summit held online.

India is the world’s top generic drug supplier and depends on neighboring China for nearly 70 percent of raw materials to produce its medicines. According to the report, “India’s ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, said New Delhi was open to U.S. firms building manufacturing plants in the country.”

On July 15, India’s Reliance Industries announced that its telecommunications subsidiary, Jio, would introduce an entirely domestic 5G service to India.

“Jio has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. This will enable us to launch a world-class 5G service in India, using 100 percent homegrown technologies and solutions,” Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said at the 43rd Reliance Annual General Meeting.

“Calling this a ‘Made in India’ 5G solution, Ambani said this service will be ready as soon as the 5G spectrum is available in India and can be ready for field deployment next year. He assured that the upgrade from 4G to 5G will be easy,” the Times of India (TOI) reported.

“This is a key development as far as 5G in India is concerned. India, just like it was late to 4G, is late to 5G networks given that some countries already have operation 5G services available to consumers whereas many others are already doing field trials for the next-generation network,” India Today noted of the 5G upgrade.

Ambani “dedicated the launch of 5G service in India to [Indian] Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s [Self-Reliant India] vision,” TOI writes. “Ambani also said that once it will be set up in India, the company aims to offer it to other global telecom operators.”

Ambani referred to Prime Minister Modi’s “Self-Reliant India” initiative, which encourages Indian businesses to become less reliant on foreign supply chains, in line with Pompeo’s recommendation on Wednesday. The government launched the effort in April in response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, which Modi says highlighted the need for New Delhi to grow less dependent on Beijing for trade and manufacturing.


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