India’s defense exports to the United States over the past five years totaled around $2.5 billion, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said and called on US entities to engage in joint collaborations and industrial research and development (R&D) with Indian companies in the public and private sectors.
Such collaboration, the Minister said, would go a long way towards realizing the vision of “Make in India, Make for the World”. He added that the collaboration would also be important for the success of “Aatmanirbhar (autonomous) Bharat” and the strengthening of US-India relations. He was addressing the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) via video conference on April 21.
Rajnath Singh urged US companies to take advantage of the Narendra Modi government‘s policy initiatives aimed at facilitating partnerships between major OEMs and Indian companies. The government has focused on joint ventures and improving the share of defense manufacturing and export by India-based companies, the defense minister said and highlighted decisions such as the increasing the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in defense, improving the ease of doing business, encouraging innovation through the iDEX platform and improving the positive list to boost manufacturing in India.
The Minister invited American companies to participate in co-production, co-development, investment promotion and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities in India.
US defense entities have contributed 35% of India’s defense exports over the past five years, the minister said, in addition to being a source of FDI and jobs in India.
Rajnath Singh stressed that by making full use of the Industrial Security Agreement, “we must facilitate collaboration and indigenization of defense technologies and enhance the participation of American and Indian companies in the respective defense supply chains”. . American companies, he said, were welcome to establish manufacturing facilities in India.
The Minister of Defense described as positive and fruitful the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between India and the United States held recently in Washington and said that the defense sector was a strong and growing pillar of the bilateral relationship. He said the ties were based on fundamental agreements, military-to-military commitments, cooperation in defense capacity building, trade and technology cooperation in defense, mutual logistics sharing and now a new emphasis on co- development and co-production.
He stressed the need to move from a buyer-seller relationship to one of partner countries and trading partners. India and the United States were uniquely positioned to leverage each other’s strengths for a mutually beneficial and bright future, he said.
The Minister of Defense said that during the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting, India and the United States confirmed their intention to advance cooperation in Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET) such as advanced communications, artificial intelligence, quantum science, STEM, semiconductors and biotechnology. .
Rajnath Singh urged private industry to develop and undertake joint research and development projects, mobilize finance, promote technologies and enhance technical collaboration. He expressed the government’s determination to work together for the exchange of best practices and the development of technology to enable affordable deployment and commercialization of CET.