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India: India, US and South Korea to launch technology dialogue in early 2024

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India, South Korea and the US will start an informal trilateral technology dialogue in the first quarter of 2024 in response to China’s rapid progress in critical technologies within the Indo-Pacific region.

The decision was taken at the inaugural US-South Korea Next Generation Critical & Emerging Technologies Dialogue held in Seoul on Friday.

“Hold National Security Council and National Security Office-led consultations with like-minded partners on critical and emerging technologies including through launching an informal trilateral technology dialogue with India in the first quarter of 2024,” read a White House statement following the Seoul meet.

It may be recalled that the Quad group has a similar partnership in the field of critical technologies and the India-US-South Korea trilateral could complement the Quad initiative. At the Quad Leaders’ Summit on 24 September 2021, the Quad countries comprising Australia, India, Japan and the US launched the Quad Principles on Technology Design, Development, Governance and Use.

Technology standards should champion openness and interoperability, foster competitive markets and encourage innovation, according to the Quad principles.

Last week, India and the US held a review meeting of the India-US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) at the level of deputy national security advisors and agreed to broaden the scope of iCET to biotechnology, critical minerals and rare earths processing technologies, digital connectivity and digital public infrastructure, and advanced materials.The meeting in Seoul was chaired by US national security advisor Jake Sullivan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) national security advisor Cho Tae-yong.“Sullivan and Cho underscored their intent to anchor the initiative in strategic technologies that will be of greatest consequence to bolstering economic prosperity; enhancing resilience against supply chain disruptions; and securing competitive advantages for our two nations and like-minded partners. At the outset, the Next Generation CET Dialogue will drive cooperation across six main strategic technology areas, including semiconductor supply chains and technology; biotechnology; batteries and clean energy technology; quantum science and technology; digital connectivity; and artificial intelligence,” according to the White House readout.

“The National Security Advisors also highlighted the crucial importance of aligning and adapting our technology protection toolkits, including the recently announced Disruptive Technology Protection Network and investment screening mechanisms, as an important effort to prevent the leakage of sensitive and dual-use technologies,” according to the readout.

USA and South Korea have also agreed to deepen collaboration on international governance frameworks for AI through promoting mutually reinforcing international initiatives. South Korea also noted its contributions to promoting international discussions on AI norms, including through its Digital Bill of Rights.

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