India, US to jointly develop, produce defence equipment

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, May 14, 2013.



    Sep 22, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Detroit MI
    Washington and New Delhi are firming up "practical projects" for joint development and production of defence equipment in India to take the defence relationship between the two countries to the "next level", US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns disclosed Friday.
    "We have made some concrete suggestions about areas in which we think co-production and co-development would make sense for both countries, and we just need to sort through the practicalities of that with our Indian counterparts," Burns, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday, said.

    "There's a strong commitment on the US side to taking the defence cooperation relationship to the next level, and we understand very well that that means moving ahead in co-production and co-development," Burns told select media ahead of his official engagements.

    Burns, who is in New Delhi ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to India next month, also revealed that on its part, Washington has already taken steps to not let some its laws and processes become a hindrance to this effort.

    "I don't want to get into the specific cases, but there are several that we have suggested recently. We look forward in the coming weeks and months to seeing if we can identify one that makes sense for both of us and we'll move ahead on it. But we have already cut through on our side at least some of the red tape and the obstacles that have existed in the past," he said.

    On civil nuclear cooperation too, indications from Washington are positive despite certain reservations about the civil nuclear liabilities bill. In particular, the Westinghouse project in Gujarat is moving at a healthy pace with both sides looking to conclude a technical cooperation agreement soon. "I hope very much that in the case of Westinghouse that they'll be able to continue to make progress and to follow through on the promise of the MoU that was agreed last June, and certainly we will continue to strongly support that effort because we believe it's very much in the interests of both of our countries," Burns said.

    However, he said, liability law issues were still on the list of concerns. "We have had concerns, we continue to have concerns about liability legislation, but, as I said, we're continuing to work those through with our Indian counterparts," Burns said.

    Besides, Burns said, both sides were keen to revive discussion on a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with a view to enhance the economic partnership. The US, he added, also felt that it would be in India's interest to revise some of its FDI limits in various sectors like defence and insurance to enable greater investments.

    "We think it's very much in India's own self-interest and the interest of economic growth in India to look at ways in which, building on steps already taken, further measures can be taken to raise caps to allow for greater investment in that sector as well as in other sectors," he said.

    Burns also said Washington favoured a strong and healthy relationship between India and China, hoping that the two countries would be able to address the boundary question through negotiations in the context of the recent Chinese incursion.

    "We hope very much that China and India will be able to work together on longstanding boundary disputes in a peaceful manner and it's encouraging, I think, that minister Khurshid, as I understand it, is in China today. We support the healthiest and strongest possible relationship between India and China," he said.

    - See more at: India, US to jointly develop, produce defence equipment - Indian Express

Share This Page