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U.S.-India Business Council hosts Defense Policy Group (DPG) delegation from India ahead of Indian Defense Minister Parrikar’s visit to the U.S. in December Washington, D.C.

November 19, 2015 – The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) hosted senior officials from the Ministry of Defense on 18 November in Washington D.C. The delegation is visiting the U.S. for bilateral meetings with the U.S. Department of Defense to discuss progress on joint initiatives such as the U.S.-India Defense Policy Group (DPG) and Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

Welcoming the delegation to Washington D.C., USIBC President Dr. Mukesh Aghi lauded the Government of India’s recent announcements on FDI policy reforms in defense. He said, “We welcome the government’s recent announcements allowing FDI up to 49% under the automatic route and beyond that through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval. By doing away with the earlier requirement of mandatory permission from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on FDI beyond 49%, the Government of India has once again proven its resolve towards streamlining the decision making process and improving the ease of doing business.” Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen, and board member of USIBC, commented, “I am encouraged by the unprecedented level of engagement between our respective governments and the private sector in the area of defense. As the Government of India continues its reform effort and streamlines the defense procurement process, I am confident that U.S. investments and important technology partnerships with Indian industry will grow significantly in support of India’s indigenization and national security goals.”

Swami Iyer, Vice President, Honeywell Defense and Space, and Chair of USIBC’s Defense Executive Committee said “We are delighted by the commitment shown by both governments to move forward in increasing bilateral trade in defense. With diligent collaboration, both government and industry can showcase Make in India and India’s improved ease of doing business in current and future defense procurements. We believe continued success in US-India defense trade can be a great enabler for India’s economy and national security.”

Since President Obama’s visit in January 2015, both countries signed the 2015 framework for the U.S.-India defense relationship that builds upon the previous framework and successes to guide the bilateral defense and strategic partnership between both countries over the next ten years. The Pentagon has also established a first-ever country special cell to speed up its defense ties with India and accelerate the process of co-development and co-production of hi-tech military equipment in the country, as part of the DTTI. The India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC) is headed by Mr. Keith Webster, Director, and International Cooperation Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

The U.S.-India bilateral defense relationship has grown in a robust manner from a mere $200 million in defense trade in 2000 to over $14 billion. Boeing recently announced that it had won a $3 billion contract from the Indian Ministry of Defense for production, training and support of 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. The order includes options to further buy 11 Apache and 7 Chinook helicopters. These aircraft are being acquired by the Indian Government on Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) basis while their weapon systems like radars and missiles would be through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route from the US Government.

About U.S.-India Business Council: Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of 350 top-tier U.S. and Indian companies advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi.   

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