New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today invited US industry to take advantage of India’s liberalised Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as he held talks with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin here, during which new opportunities for expanding defence cooperation were explored.
In a statement after the talks, Singh said the discussions focussed on wide-ranging defence cooperation and expanding military-to-military engagement across services, information sharing, cooperation in emerging sectors of defence, and mutual logistics support.
“We are keen to work together to realise the full potential of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership,” he said.
“I invited US industry to take advantage of India’s liberalized foreign direct investment (FDI) policies in the defence sector. We both agreed that there are opportunities for collaboration in the defence industry,” Singh said.
The Indian Defence Minister’s remarks came amidst a determined push by the government to indigenisation of the defence manufacturing.
Significantly, days earlier, the US had said it would like to help India develop defence manufacturing.
Singh and Austin reviewed the wide gamut of bilateral and multilateral exercises and agreed to pursue enhanced cooperation with the US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command and Africa Command.
“Acknowledging that we have in place the foundational agreements, LEMOA, COMCASA and BECA, we discussed steps to be taken to realise their full potential for mutual benefit,” Singh said.
Referring to the recent Leaders’ Summit of India, USA, Japan and Australia under the Quad framework, Singh said it “emphasized our resolve to maintain a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”
He said the two leaders discussed the need for enhanced capacity building to address some of the non-traditional challenges such as oil spills and environment disasters, drug trafficking, Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing, etc.
“India is committed to further consolidate our robust defence partnership with the United States. I look forward to working with you closely to make the India-US relationship one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,” Singh said.