The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) leaders in their summit held in Washington DC during September 2021 expanded their scope of cooperation to areas of climate crisis; emerging technologies, space, cyber security; and cultivating next-generation talent. During this Summit, leaders pledged to ensure a free and open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.  Considering its current economic engagements with the QUAD members, there could be economic benefit for India from the QUAD. These benefits could be accrued particularly in five distinct areas.
Establishing Supply Chain for Semi Conductor
QUAD leaders in their joint statement acknowledged that diverse and secure technology supply chains - for hardware, software and services - are vital to their shared national interests. Developing self reliance in the production of Semi conductor is one of the prime objectives of the QUAD nations. India attempts to build local semiconductor manufacturing capabilities by offering incentives to global firms to set up production plants in the country that can be used to supply silicon chips both to the local market as well as become a base for global supplies. Prime Minister Modi, in his meeting with Qualcomm CEO urged to step up its India investments in areas such as chips used in 5G telecom networks. India can support QUAD’s ambition to launch supply-chain security for semiconductors and their vital components. India can work with the QUAD members to establish their production plants in India. India has a comparative advantage in trained human capital. Semiconductor design requires large numbers of skilled engineers and this is where India’s strength lies.
Emerging Technology services
The Quad leaders stressed the need to keep future 5G telecommunications ecosystems ‘diverse, resilient, and secure’ . All the QUAD members have put a ban on the Chinese companies to test their 5G technology citing security reasons or fearing interference by them in their domestic issues. Many companies in India are already reported to be in the advance stage to develop their own 5G technology. India could use its comparative strength in the ITES and exploit the situation in its favour.
Supplying rare earth minerals
All the QUAD economies are highly dependent on China for several essential and critical minerals including rare earths. Rare earth metal collectively comprises a relatively limited group of 17 elements, including the 15 lanthanide elements on the periodic table, and two other related elements, scandium, and yttrium. The metals are essential ingredients in all kinds of high-tech goods, including smart phones, laptops, hybrid cars, wind turbines, and solar cells, among other things. Both, the USA and Japan have experienced a dire situation in the past due to China’s threat to disrupt the supply of rare earths. India possesses six per cent of the global reserves of this mineral, and has the potential to play a pivotal role in this regard. Japanese firm Toyota Tsusho, along with the Indian Rare Earth Limited, set up a joint venture called Toyotsu Rare Earths India in Andhra Pradesh to make rare earth such as neodymium, lanthanum and cerium. India should co-operate with the QUAD nations and export this mineral.
India’s deep economic connection with QUAD economies is reflected in its bilateral trade volume with each of the members. Collectively these three economies accounted for 15 percent of India’s total trade during 2019-2020. The USA contributes the highest share with 11 percent followed by Japan and Australia with 2.15 percent and 1.6 respectively.  In addition, India already has a trade agreement with Japan, enforced in 2011 while the negotiation is underway with Australia and the USA. India can now use this vital multilateral forum to accelerate its trade negotiations and boost its trade with the member economies.
QUAD aims to leverage both public and private resources to build quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region. Since 2015, Quad partners have provided more than $48 billion finance for the development of infrastructure in the region.  India plans to spend $1.4 trillion on infrastructure during 2019-23 as a part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP). Japan’s world class construction companies with advance technology, infrastructure finance agencies can play a leading role in this field. Interestingly, Japan has already invested in the development of transport infrastructure in the North Eastern states in India. The QUAD’s commitment to infrastructural development in the region can be expanded by including India in the existing ‘Australia-Japan-US Trilateral Infrastructure Partnership’ and extending their outreach into the Indo-Pacific region. 
India can benefit from its engagement with QUAD. It would not only expand its strategic and diplomatic importance in the Indo-pacific region but also accrue huge economic benefits. For this to happen there is a need for closer and continuous coordination among the participants. Now, it remains to be seen how the association among them unfolds in the near future and how actively they pursue their goal of achieving a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
* Rahul Nath Choudhury is a research fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs.
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