‘Indo-US defence companies betting big on each other for next 20-30 years’

by doreenioq8

Updated – June 30, 2024 at 09:52 PM.
|
New Delhi

We want technologies to connect us and protect us, says US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti


US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti
| Photo Credit:
Kamal Singh

Following the Modi-led NDA coming to power for the third time, albeit with lesser strength, the continuity of US India relationship and the pro-business environment seems strong if not stronger, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said. Garcetti, who recently led a 250-strong Indian delegation to an investment summit in Washington, is excited that investments are flowing both ways and is no more a one-way street. In a video interview with businessline, the US Ambassador talks about a whole range of issues important for India-US ties from technology transfers and defence deals to lower trade barrier and a free Indo-Pacific. Excerpts:

You led an Indian business delegation to the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington DC last week. What are your expectations from India as a source of investments for the US?

The Indian delegation to the SelectUSA Investment Summit not only repeated the success of 2023 being the biggest delegation but actually surpassed last year setting a new record for any country in any select US conference ever, in terms of most people and most money invested by those people into the US. We had specific announcements. For instance, JSW steel here in Texas, announced $110-million investment in their steel operations. They will build steel wind turbines so far imported into the US. To me, it really shows it is a two-way street finally. It is not just great American companies coming into India for joint ventures and expand international operations. But it is Indian companies, who are now so strong globally that they are looking for opportunities abroad. And there is no better opportunity, no better country, no better investment environment than the US.

While the BJP-led NDA has formed the government at the Centre again, this time BJP does not have a majority on its own and is dependent on its allies. Is there a concern that this might lead to more uncertainty in the policy space, affecting the interests of US businesses?

We congratulate PM Modi and NDA on their victory in the elections. The continuity of US-India relationship and the continuity of the pro-business environment seems strong if not stronger than ever. We leave Indian politics to Indians to discuss. When it comes to US relations with this government, we are really looking at three things. One, how to increase the amount of trade between our countries. Two, how we share more technologies that can allow India to be a shop floor for the world and for the US companies to diversify their supply chains. And third, how do we create a free Indo Pacific region by the strategic relationships which we know.

What are your expectations going forward?

My hope is that we continue to be as confident as we were about more economic liberalisation, more clarity in rules and regulations, lower barriers to trade on both sides. And I am going to be negotiating very clearly with my friends in Indian government to see if we can expand our ambition.

Both sides are betting big on the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) for cooperating and sharing technologies in critical areas. With the US concerns around sharing technology with China and given the general iffiness around technology transfer, how optimistic can India be of substantial partnership in iCET?

When two democracies have these discussions, we have some more values. We want technologies to connect us and protect us. We don’t want it to divide us or harm us. It is not used to oppress or monitor people. It is used to empower them. And liberate them. I think we share those values. I think it is a misperception that the US government has a giant box or locker full of technologies. Most of these technologies are usually held by universities, companies etc. It is about connecting people to people and deepening those ties. And so far, government work has been very fruitful, for instance in telecom.

There is a lot of development taking place in space and defence, especially with the deals between GE and HAL and talks on coproduction of the Stryker. How are things panning out?

I am very happy with the developments. We are sending an Indian astronaut to the international space station. We are together building NISAR..this incredible aperture radar satellite that will go up this year and help us deal with climate change. And in defence area, whether it is sharing the technology of GE’s state-of-the-art military jet engines or the more recent conversations to coproduce things like the Stryker armoured infantry combat vehicles and the javelin missiles–those are the areas where we can see very happily a sharing of co production and co-development. I think they are betting big on each other for the next 20-30 years.

India has been very excited about the prospect of cooperation in semiconductors…

We have already brought billions of dollars of deals that build on the incentives Indian States and Central government have given. And we are talking about how to build the skills. Semiconductors are very complicated even for the US to build. So, we begun to build an ecosystem of semiconductor knowledge, skills and investments in India. I think we can go even further with AI…In quantum computing, I think we can offer India a good backbone to accelerate innovation.

It is not just great American companies coming into India for joint ventures and expand international operations. But it is Indian companies, who are now so strong globally that they are looking for opportunities abroad. And there is no better opportunity, no better country, no better investment environment than the US.Eric Garcetti US Ambassador to India

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multipurpose site for ROV ,drone services,mineral ores,ingots,agro commodities-oils,pulses,fatty acid distillate,rice,tomato concentrate,animal waste -gallstones,maggot feed ,general purpose niche -consumer goods,consumer electronics and all .Compedium of news around the world,businesses,ecommerce ,mineral,machines promotion and affiliation and just name it ...

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