The defence minister was addressing the members of American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) through video conferencing during its 30th Annual General Meeting

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh extended an invitation to the US companies on Thursday to set up a base in India for co-production, co-development, investment promotion and development of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facilities of defence equipment in India.

Speaking to the US industry representative virtually, Rajnath Singh said, “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,” added Rajnath Singh.

The defence minister was addressing the members of American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) through video conferencing during its 30th Annual General Meeting.

Rajnath 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 focussed on enhancing the share of defence manufacturing, export by India-based companies and joint ventures,” he said.

Rajnath Singh pointed out that US companies have not only been a source of FDI and employment in India, but are also contributing to India’s defence exports, totalling around $2.5 billion to US in the last five years, which is 35 per cent of total exports achieved during the period.

Saying trade and investment relationship with the US is an important component of this success story,” Minister underlined the importance of strengthening the commercial and economic pillar of the India-US partnership to advance economic growth and deliver mutual prosperity for both countries.

“There has been a rebound in bilateral trade between the two countries over the last year, surpassing $113 billion in goods. In the same period, we have started to realise successes in the journey towards the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atmanirbharta’ by increasing India’s participation in global supply chains and surpassing $400 billion in exported goods for the first time in history.”

Rajnath also talked about the recently held 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and termed it as positive and fruitful, Rajnath specified the defence sector as a strong and growing pillar of the bilateral relationship.

The US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III met Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar in Washington, D.C., on April 11, 2022, for the fourth India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. The Dialogue was preceded by a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joseph Biden.

Emphasising on the need to move from a buyer-seller relationship to one of partner nations and business partners, “ India and US are uniquely poised to leverage each other’s strengths for a mutually beneficial and bright future,” he said.

“When seen from the perspective of strategic convergence, India and the US share a commitment to democracy, pluralism and rule of law. We have a growing convergence of strategic interests as both countries seek a resilient, rules-based international order that safeguards sovereignty and territorial integrity, upholds democratic values and promotes peace and prosperity for all. Both India and US share a common vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region. The India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership is of critical importance for international peace, stability and prosperity,” Rajnath Singh added.

He further noted that during the 2+2 Ministerial meeting, India and US confirmed their intent to advance cooperation in Critical and Emerging Technologies such as advanced communication technology, artificial intelligence, quantum science, STEM, semiconductors and biotechnology. He urged the private industry to develop and undertake joint research and development projects, mobilise finance, promote technologies, and enhance technical collaboration.

AMCHAM-India is an association of American business organisations operating in India. Established in 1992, AMCHAM has over 400 US companies as members. The principal objectives include promotion of activities that would encourage and stimulate investment by US companies in India and increasing bilateral trade.