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Create in India, export from India, Rajnath tells US defence manufacturers 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the 12th DefExpo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat (Image courtesy: PIB)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has invited companies from the United States to set up manufacturing units in India and develop technology collaborations with Indian industries to create a global supply chain free from vulnerabilities and uncertainties.

“India looks forward to collaborating for a secure and resilient global supply chain for the free world to ensure uninterrupted and reliable access to defence equipment and other strategic materials for our nation and our partners, including the US,” Singh said at an event organised on the sidelines of the DefExpo in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar.

For India, he said, collaboration with US companies would be an important strategic force multiplier, apart from being wealth and job creator.

“As India’s defence base grows, private sector companies from the US can explore the vast potential for ‘Creating in India’ and ‘Exporting from India’,” Singh mentioned.

The minister made the comments while addressing a seminar titled ‘New Frontiers in US-India Defence Cooperation: Next Generation Technology, Innovation & Make in India’ jointly organised by the US-India Business Council (UIBC) and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).

He stated that the Indian defence industry has been witnessing transformative changes for the last eight years through progressive reforms. These changes have created a conducive environment for the growth of the Indian industry through transparency, predictability and institutionalisation of several measures for ease of doing business.

Singh emphasised that the path to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is a comprehensive set of policy frameworks that seek to build indigenous technological and production capacity & capability with cooperation, participation and collaborations with reputed institutions and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from friendly nations. The idea is to manufacture in India for the Indian market as well as export to friendly countries, i.e., ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.

The main objective, according to Singh, is to fulfil the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces and at the same time create long-term linkages to the global supply chains of the foreign OEMs to meet global demands.

“We are delighted to work with the US, our valued partner, to strengthen our commercial and strategic relationship and to attract US investment for creating a high-technology defence production ecosystem in India,” he said.

According to the Defence Minister, the $5 billion dollar export target set for 2025 reflects the intent of the Narendra Modi government for export-oriented manufacturing.

He asserted that US companies can now set up manufacturing facilities, individually or in partnership with Indian companies, through a Joint Venture or technology agreement etc., to capitalise on the ‘Make in India’ opportunity.

Singh described the project agreement to co-develop air-launched UAVs, under the auspices of the India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, as a welcome development. He stated that industries from both sides can explore additional DTTI projects, such as counter unmanned aerial systems and an Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance platform.

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