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Top American aerospace, defence firms support 'Make in India' initiative

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BENGALURU (PTI): Top American aerospace and defence companies have pledged to strengthen the 'Make in India campaign' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and foster "blossoming" of the India-US defence collaboration.

The support from American firms emerged at the ongoing Asia's premier airshow Aero India 2017 here on Wednesday, where government is making a strong pitch for the 'Make in India' campaign, wooing global companies to be part of India's evolving story.

The US-India Business Council is leading its delegation to Aero India 2017, showcasing continuity in the defence and security partnership between the US and India following India being designated as a 'Major Defense Partner', which directs the US government to prioritise defence trade with the country.

The international delegation consists of more than 20 senior executives from American aerospace and defense companies, according to the Council.

USIBC's Executive Mission is led by George Standridge, Vice President for Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin, and Tom Bell, Senior Vice President, Boeing.

Senior executives representing America's top defense companies, including Arconic, Telephonics, Raytheon, Honeywell, Harris Corporation and Textron Systems are part of USIBC's delegation, USIBC said in a statement here.

At a seminar here on opportunities to integrate India into the global supply chain held by USIBC, Mission co-lead George Standridge, Vice President for Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said, "India is an important partner for the US industry."

Aero India 2017, he said, is an excellent venue to further discussions in support of Modi's call to 'Make in India', and "we are committed to sharing knowledge, skills, and technology, today and in the future."

"The US and Indian defense industries are poised to work collaboratively to position India as a major defense partner of the United States," Tom Bell, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing for Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) said.

Boeing is committed to facilitating the ecosystem for India's defense industrial base in a manner that supports job growth in both the countries, Bell said.

Aero India 2017 is an ideal venue to exchange lessons learned and showcase our commitment and progress supporting the Indian market and the 'Make in India' initiative, Hector F Colon, Corporate Vice President for Telephonic Corporation, said.

"We look forward to continue our effort with USIBC to strengthen the Make in India campaign and also foster the blossoming of India-US defense collaboration," he said.

USIBC's Director of Aerospace and Defense, Ben Schwartz said 2017 should be an exciting year for the defense industry.

"We are hopeful that some key changes will take place that augur well for the bilateral partnership such as an agreement on communications security and the reform of defense offset management," he said.

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