Rajnath calls on US defence firms to benefit from eased FDI rules

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday called on American defence companies to take advantage of the easing of foreign direct investments rules in the sector.
After the 2+2 dialogue between India and the US, he said that military to military cooperation between both the countries is progressing very well.
“In the two days meeting, we also explored probable capacity building and other joint cooperation activities in third countries, including our neighborhood and beyond,” he said.
Rajnath Singh also said that both India and the US shared an assessment of the security situation across the Indo-Pacific. “In that process, we reaffirmed our commitment to peace, stability and prosperity of all countries in this region,” he said.
About the security situation at Indo-Pacific region, US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper said that India-US stand shoulder to shoulder for a free Indo-Pacific, particularly in view of China’s growing aggression. He also said that the India-US partnership is more important than ever in view of growing security challenges.
About forthcoming naval exercise, Rajnath Singh said that both the countries welcomed Australia joining the forthcoming Malabar Exercise. Esper too hailed Malabar Exercise involving the Quad countries and also inclusion of Australia.
Rajnath Singh also said that signing of Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) after signing of the LEMOA in 2016 and the COMCASA in 2018 is a significant achievement.
Both India and the US carried out follow up to some earlier discussions. These include positioning a United States Navy Liaison Officer at Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region and an Indian Liaison Officer at the United States Naval Forces Central Command, Bahrain; greater interaction and coordination with United States Central Command and United States Africa Command; setting up of the COMSEC account and increasing the scope and complexities of exercises.
“Now Liaison Officers at each other’s establishments could be leveraged to enhance our information sharing architecture. To sum it up, our military to military cooperation is progressing well,” the minister said.
In the defence industrial cooperation area, Rajnath Singh highlighted the capabilities of Indian defence industry and their usefulness in the supply chain of major US platforms and systems.
“We have identified priority Near-Term projects for joint development between respective agencies, which need to be fast tacked under the DTTI and resolved to work together in Defence R&D more efficiently,” he added.

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