Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

PM Modi urges US Defence industry to set up manufacturing base

PM Modi urges US Defence industry to set up manufacturing base

But India remains wary of being drawn into any U.S. strategy that might involve the containment of China, although the two nations have stepped up bilateral defence ties and military exercises.

The prime minister expressed hope that the Donald Trump administration would recognise defence as a new economic opportunity, he said. They also discussed counter-terrorism cooperation and ways to boost trade, with India indicating interest in expanding the newly initiated imports of oil and gas from the USA, now valued at US$4 billion (S$5.5 billion). "In addition, of course there was appreciation of the outcomes of the recently held Ministerial 2+2 and on the follow up to the 2+2, both on the foreign policy side and on the defence side", Gokhale said.

The Prime Minister is expected to speak to an expected audience of almost 40,000 people on the third day of the conference, November 14, Wednesday. Pence referred to the upcoming 10th anniversary of the deadly Mumbai terror attack on November 26 and hailed cooperation between the two sides on counter terrorism, Gokhale said.

India could take a page out of China's playbook by speeding up work on long-gestating connectivity projects, such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway, and building new trade and transport linkages with all the Asean states.

Modi thanked Pence and reminded him that in one way or another all the traces and all the leads in the global terror attacks ultimately leads to a "single source and single place of origin", without naming any country or organisation. On trade - on which the Trump administration has adopted a strident position globally - Mr Modi reminded the U.S. vice-president that American exports to India had risen by 50 per cent in the past two years, with India importing $4 billion of United States oil and gas this year.


The foreign secretary said, "There was a sense of convergence both on bilateral issues and on global issues and we look forward to taking the relationship in coming months and in 2019".

Under President Donald Trump, the United States has pushed for a "free and open" Indo-Pacific partly in response to China's growing footprint in the region. "We expressed our readiness to import more oil and gas from USA as a way of expanding our trade", he said.

"The two leaders reiterated the importance of the US-India strategic partnership and of advancing our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific", the White House said in a statement. Numerous ten members of the Association of South East Asian Nations perceive India as a much-needed counterbalance to China, though their leaders are unlikely to say so in public, given the large Chinese presence in the economies of several Asean states.

"There was some good understanding of the areas of how we move forward in building cooperation on counter-terrorism and both countries recognised this is a challenge which we have to fight together and to fight along with the rest of the global community", Gokhale said.

"So there was some good understanding on the area of how we move forward in building cooperation on counter-terrorism and both countries recognised that this is a challenge which we will have to fight together and to fight along with the rest of the worldwide community", he said.

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