Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today exhorted US companies to take advantage of the policy initiatives taken by the Modi government in India and carry out joint R&D, manufacturing and maintenance of defence equipment to achieve the vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.
He was addressing the members of American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) through video conferencing during its 30th Annual General Meeting. He invited the US companies to undertake co-production, co-development, investment promotion and development of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facilities in India.
“Of late, some US companies have expanded their local presence in partnership with Indian industry to achieve our aim of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’. We believe this is just a beginning. With increasing business, we aspire for increased investments by US companies in India. Making full use of the Industrial Security Agreement, we need to facilitate collaboration & indigenisation of defence technology and boost the participation of US and Indian companies in each other’s defence supply chains. American companies are welcome to establish manufacturing facilities in India,” said Rajnath.
The minister listed out a number of initiatives taken by the government to facilitate partnerships between major Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) and Indian companies. “From increase in FDI limit to improving ease of doing business and from encouraging innovation through the iDEX platform to an enhanced positive list to give fillip to manufacture in India, the government is sharply focused on enhancing the share of defence manufacturing, export by India-based companies and joint ventures,” he said.
Rajnath pointed out that US companies have not only been a source of FDI & employment in India, but were also contributing to India’s defence exports, totalling around $2.5 billion to US in the last five years, which was 35 per cent of total exports achieved during the period.
He said the participation of US entities in joint R&D and industrial collaboration with Indian public and private sectors would be important for the success of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and further strengthening the US-India relationship.
Rajnath termed the recently held India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington as positive and fruitful, saying that the defence sector was a strong and growing pillar of the bilateral relationship. He stated that the ties were built on foundational agreements, military-to-military engagements, cooperation in enhancement of defence capabilities, defence trade and technology cooperation, mutual logistic share and now a new emphasis on co-development and co-production. He emphasised the need to move from a buyer-seller relationship to one of partner nations and business partners. India and the US were uniquely poised to leverage each other’s strengths for a mutually beneficial and bright future, he said.