US keen to boost defence trade with India

The US is looking to increase defence trade with India and Washington will seek to "address" any concern of New Delhi in this regard.

Washington: The US is looking to increase defence trade with India and Washington will seek to "address" any concern of New Delhi in this regard, apart from "familiarising the Indian government" with the US system, a senior State Department official has said.

"This spring I was in India for the first Political-Military talks in six years. Cumulative defence sales have grown from virtually zero to more than USD 8 billion since 2008," said Andrew J Shapiro, the Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

"One of the major goals we had during these talks was to make progress in advancing the defence trade. We sought to better familiarise the Indian government with our system and to address any concerns they may have," he said.

Shapiro, who had led a US delegation to India for the joint Political Military Dialogue early this year, said one of the major goals during these talks was to "make progress in advancing the defence trade".

"We think the US-India defence and trade relationship would benefit from linking defence sales with broader strategic goals. That`s why we specifically articulated the technical and political advantages that FMS offers," Shapiro said in his remarks to the Defence Trade Advisory Group.

Meanwhile, referring to bilateral defence trade between the two countries, a top Pentagon official has said that India wants a relationship with the US which not just remains limited to mere business activities, but also enriches its proud technological heritage.

"They (India) have a proud technological heritage. Indians, want a relationship that enriches the heritage and not just (remains limited to) a buyer-seller relationship, said Ashton Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defence.

Carter, who visited India early this week, said during his visit, he discussed with the Indian government ways to "strengthen and deepen" the technological cooperation between two nations.

Carter added such technology-sharing partnerships are long-established with countries like Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

"We`ve had longer partnerships with them. So much more is established, but much more remains to be done," Carter said, adding that he had held discussions with leaders of these countries in this regard.