Defence Expo to bolster India-US defence ties: US Consul General

Indo-US defence

In a move to strengthen defence cooperation with India, over 90 US companies are participating in Defence Expo 2016 – the largest presence from any country at the expo. As the two countries continue to make significant progress in defence cooperation, US Consul General in Mumbai Thomas L Vajda said that America’s participation in the Defence Expo will be a boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign. He emphasised that several companies from the US are interested in setting up a base in India. The statement comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington DC to attend the Nuclear Security Summit.

“America has tremendous interest in cooperating with India,” Mr Vajda said. The ninth edition of India’s biennial land, naval and internal security systems exposition, ‘Defence Expo 2016’ started in Goa on March 28. The exhibition will showcase the latest products into land, naval and homeland security systems from nearly 1000 defence firms. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is one among the major players promoting the ‘Make in India’ initiative at the defence expo.

“We want to work in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Various private sector companies in America are eager to work here,” Mr Vajda said. Highlighting the strength of the partnership between both countries he said that it was unprecedented the way the US was working with India to support India’s aspiration of being a regional and global leader. The US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter is scheduled to visit India in April.

The US is the biggest participant in the Defence Expo. With an emphasis on ‘Make in India’, which seeks to bolster India’s manufacturing especially in the defence sector, Mr Vajda said that the  collaboration between India and US goes beyond just buying and selling of defence equipment. Focusing on the personal relations between US President Barack Obama and Mr Modi, he said that it helped “to build the relationship but it is not completely dependent on it.”

The US has already entered into agreements with India on setting up manufacturing in the defence sector under ‘Make in India’ initiative.

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