Asia St: BGA Quad Views: Emerging Technologies in the Spotlight with New Dialogue

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BGA Quad Views: Emerging Technologies in the Spotlight with New Dialogue

December 3, 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Meets Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Photo Credit: PM Modi Twitter Account).

BGA’s teams from the Australia, India, Japan and the United States wrote a cross-border update on perspectives regarding emerging technologies from the countries that make up the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) as part of BGA’s cross-border “Quad Views” series. The update explored the subject of critical and emerging technologies and the opportunities it offers companies in areas such as semiconductors, quantum and cyber.

Context

  • Top officials from Australia, India and Japan in early November participated in a new dialogue for critical and emerging technologies known as the Sydney Dialogue amid ongoing work in this space among them along with the United States as part of the Quad.
  • The development highlighted how each country view the emerging technologies space, with the Quad being a key avenue. For instance, India under Prime Minister Modi, who addressed the dialogue, sees emerging technologies as being in line with foreign policy priorities such as reducing China’s digital footprint in the country, and domestic policies in areas like data regulation. Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has continued to focus on building Japan’s domestic technological foundation and cultivating alignments, which were both outlined by former premier Shinzo Abe in his keynote remarks.

Significance

  • Some new initiatives were announced at the Sydney Dialogue. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a new blueprint for critical technologies prioritizing security, trust, integrity and resilience at home and abroad, and Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced a Center for Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy to be based in Bengaluru.
  • The dialogue also spotlighted some wider geopolitical touchpoints. Modi noted that his keynote address was an acknowledgement of the country’s status as an emerging power. Morrison’s remarks made clear that part of the logic of Australia’s work in the technology space is its effort to work with like-minded allies and partners to manage its China challenge.

Implications

  • Companies should monitor emerging opportunities not just in technological areas, but also adjacent and broader ones such as critical minerals and defense. For instance, Australia’s new Critical Mineral Facility presents an opportunity for it to play a lead role in this space, especially if paired with U.S. government financing mechanisms.
  • Firms should keep a focus on wider regional efforts, including standard-setting and subspaces within emerging technologies. Kishida and his team are strengthening the emphasis on national economic security, especially on key components such as semiconductors and defense supply chains, while the Biden administration has said it will look to develop work with like-minded partners in artificial intelligence and 5G.
  • Key events in the 2022 calendar will also be key to observe. These include the next rotational Quad Summit, expected to be held in Japan in 2022, and India’s assumption of the Group of Twenty (G-20) chairmanship in 2023 after Indonesia’s turn.

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in the Indo-Pacific as they occur. If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Australia Managing Director Fergus Hanson at fhanson@bowergroupasia.com, BGA India Managing Director Ratan Shrivastava at ratan@bowergroupasia.com, BGA Japan Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki at kaburaki@bowergroupasia.com or BGA Head of Research Murray Hiebert at mhiebert@bowergroupasia.com.