US companies must focus on forming JVs, tech transfers: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

By ET News

Indo-US cooperation will go a long way in restoring normalcy and boosting the economy in the post-pandemic world, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said, inviting technology collaboration and transfer through joint ventures with Indian companies. He also said that steps like doing away with retrospective taxation have boosted industry confidence.

Speaking ahead of a planned visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US, Singh said that the pandemic has “brought newer challenges in terms of disruption to supply chains, downturn in industrial activities, negative growth in travel and tourism industry” that can be overcome through cooperation.

“There is no doubt Indo-US cooperation will go a long way to restore normalcy and further boost economic dynamism,” the minister said, speaking at the 18th India-US Economic Summit organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

Making a case for JVs and tech transfer, the minister said that there is a lot of scope for American and Indian defence industries for co-production and co-development, with components being built locally as well. The minister said that the defence sector is an integral factor for overall growth of the country and invited US companies to focus on creating manufacturing facilities in India. “We are also establishing an aero engine complex in India. You can become a part of our defence ecosystem through the strategic partnership model or with JVs,” the minister said, addressing an audience comprising the top defence companies of the US and India.

Noting the presence of global leaders like Boeing and Lockheed Martin in India, Singh said that the time has come to take partnerships to the next level. “I believe the time is ripe for Indo-American Business Cooperation to move forward from a buyer-seller relationship to a more meaningful and sustainable economic & business cooperation,” he said.

The minister added that initiatives taken by the government have “transformed India into a strong and reliable investment destination”. In particular, he noted the withdrawal of the retrospective tax amendment, saying that mistakes done by past governments are being rectified.

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