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US-India Business Council lauds new roadmap for defence industrial cooperation between two countries

Washington: US-India Business Council (USIBC) has lauded the outcome of talks between US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and said the US leader's visit reflects the accelerating convergence between the world's oldest and largest democracies.
In a statement, USIBC President Atul Keshap said the two sides had concluded a roadmap for US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation. "USIBC applauds both governments for establishing a new roadmap for US-India defense industrial cooperation. Our USIBC members include the top defence firms in the world, producing sophisticated defence platforms that can enhance Indian and American capabilities in border security, maritime domain awareness, space situational awareness, and more. Such strength helps ensure effective deterrence in an unsettled geostrategic environment," Keshap said.
"Secretary Austin's visit reflects the accelerating convergence between the world's oldest and largest democracies. We are confident that continued progress on tech release under iCET and the startup linkages created by the INDUS X defense innovation bridge will empower industry to further facilitate India's role as a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific region," he added.
He said the discussions between the two sides reinforced the increasing importance the US government is placing on India as a major commercial and defence partner and talks continued on tech releasability issues between the two sides.
He said that the USIBC welcomes the Security of Supply Chain Agreement and a reciprocal defence procurement agreement and stressed that these were major calls from industry during the initial public-private consultations under the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) launched at the US Chamber of Commerce in January.
"These are vital steps in the development of our high-trust ecosystem that will enable the private sector to be even more ambitious," he said.
Keshap said USIBC will host the inaugural Indus X conference on June 20, 21 in Washington.
"This conference can foster a richer culture of co-development and co-production between our two nations, accelerating the exchange of technology, knowledge, and trust between our two great and powerful democracies," he said.
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin concluded his India visit on Monday with both countries taking new steps to strengthen their defence partnership.
During his meetings with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the US Secretary exchanged perspectives on a range of regional security issues.
The two countries decided to launch negotiations for two crucial agreements related to the Security of Supply Arrangement and a Reciprocal Defence Procurement in an effort to establish stable supply chains of arms and equipment.
According to Pentagon, Lloyd Austin and Rajnath Singh also pledged to review regulatory hurdles impeding closer industry-to-industry cooperation and to initiate negotiations on these agreements. (ANI)

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