SINGAPORE: The US is working “very hard” on changing its “outdated” export control policy on India as the two strategic partners seek to continue working together on a large number of projects, including in the military sector, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said here.
“The United States is working very hard on changing India’s status in the US export system which is also somewhat outdated,” he said in response to a question on what was expected from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.
He said he along with his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar would “identify new ways” to co-operate in defense sector in advance of Modi’s visit.
The US and India are committed, as part of our growing security coverage, to co-development and co-production of military capabilities, Carter said at the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue here.
“That is something we have not had since the birth of the modern Indian state, and we had two systems which grew up apart and we are trying to bring them together that would be very productive thing to do,” he said.
“We have a large number of projects we are working on together which will be developed and launched in coming months” elaborated Carter, adding that he had recently visited India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
“Our laboratories are working together on a joint research and development projects technology, military equipment. There are many many things we are doing together,” he said.
Carter expects the ‘Make in India’ policy and US’ technology policies to come together in the same way that the America’s rebalance and India’s Act East policy have come together.
“There is a lot going on and a lot more will be developing in the policy in the coming weeks and months,” said Carter.
He also highlighted the US-India military relationship, saying it is as close as it has ever been.
“Through our strategic handshake with the United States reaching west in its rebalance, and India reaching east in Prime Minister Modi’s Act East policy our two nations are exercising together by air, land, and sea.
“And there’s also a technological handshake: we re moving toward deeper and more diverse defense co-development and co-production, including on aircraft carrier design and construction,” said Carter in his presentation on ‘The Asia Pacific’s Principled Security Network’ in this morning’s Plenary Session.
“If we continue to cooperate on security, I posited, we would one day be discussing a US-China-India multilateral maritime exercise, a Japan-Republic of Korea joint disaster response in the South China Sea, and an ASEAN-wide security network,” said Carter.
He also noted joint activities like this year’s MALABAR Exercise, following which the US-Japan-India trilateral relationship is starting to provide real, practical security cooperation that spans the entire region from the Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific.
He also noted India’s increasing training with Vietnam s military and coast guard on their common platforms, and added that the Japan-Australia-India trilateral meeting last June was a welcome development and addition to the region s security network. -PTI