Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ball In Indian Court On Co-Development Projects: Carter

Press Trust of India
October 1, 2013


By Lalit K Jha
Washington (PTI) -- After offering a number of specific proposals to co-develop and co-produce high-tech defence systems, the US is awaiting a response from India, a top defence official has said.
"On this trip, I put forward quite a large number of them," Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter told a Washington audience, more than a fortnight after he travelled to India to submit a series of specific proposals related to co-development and co-production.
While the list has not been revealed, one proposal Carter has made public is for co-developing the next generation of the Javelin anti-tank missile.
"I'm not prepared to say what they are, because I want my Indian colleagues to have a chance to take a look at them, but they're ideas that come from our industry. So it's not true that they've turned down proposals or a large number of things have been sifted through," Carter said in response to a question at the Center of American Progress.
"I think they are giving very serious consideration to some of the proposals we put forward last year. These are things where they have to consider whether they meet their military requirements and whether they have the budget to pay for them, so it takes a little time for them to figure it out, but they haven't turned it down," he said.
Carter said the industry on both sides is enthusiastic about these proposals. The US government has concluded that it is the US interests to expedite them, he said.
"Now it's in India's court. But it's only been two-and-a-half weeks or so since I left. And I'm going to do another round of them here, where we're going to go out to US industry again, because in the first round, I think we got a lot of very good proposals, but they were mostly from companies that had done some business in India and had kind of figured out how to work with India," he said.
"We also want to draw in companies that haven't tried India yet or have been afraid to deal with India, and I believe we can reduce those barriers to entry to the point where India is a very attractive market," Carter said.
"I'm not discouraged at all. And it's more than destiny. It is hard work on our part, as well. I'm very encouraged by the pace of things we're doing," he said.
Responding to questions, Carter asked the industry to get in touch with him directly if they have any difficulties in arms sale to India.
"I read my own e-mail. I'll get it to the right person. I don't mind. Just send it to me," Carter told the Washington audience giving his email.
"It is frustrating. We in the Department of Defence are trying to remove as many obstacles as we can. Those of you who are doing business there, I encourage you to be in touch with us, be it directly in touch with me - I'll work these problems," he said.
"We have history on our side. And all we have to do is remove some of these picayune obstacles, and we'll do them," he added.

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