On July 21st, select AMCHAM Defense Committee members met with Mr. Vishwesh Negi, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation), Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Ms. Udaya Arun, Director, AMCHAM thanked the Joint Secretary and gave a backgrounder about AMCHAM and it’s activities. Mr. Alain Garcia, Chairman – Defense Committee AMCHAM and Vice President, Global Business Development – India, Boeing Defense Space & Security mentioned the opportunity AMCHAM members had early last month to share the India scenario with officials in U.S. at the door knock. The Joint Secretary gave a brief overview of the deliverables from the recently concluded high level dialogues between representatives from both governments. He shared an update that a private industry sharable document was being worked on, ‘Roadmap for U.S. – India Defense Industrial Cooperation,’ which would highlight new and emerging technologies, ISTAR and update to IndusX. This roadmap would serve as a catalyst for the defense ecosystem. Discussions took place over licensing issues and members raised that ISTAR regulations needed to be eased out, and that Defense Industry Collaboration Forum (DICF) could be leveraged. Need for discussions with Indian industry bodies to understand planning on the groundwork since now co-development, rather than co-manufacturing, was the need of the hour. He proposed the need for AMCHAM to work more closely with the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) to meet these objectives. He also shared that while the Security of Supply Arrangements (SOSA) was underway, the Indian Ministry of Defence was working out a similar code of conduct like the U.S. code of conduct. Mr. Samit Ray, Co-Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Regional Director Government Affairs & Public Policy, Raytheon Technologies Corporation asked a query regarding the Reciprocal Defence Procurement Agreement (RDP) and the Joint Secretary mentioned that discussions with Indian industry bodies were underway. Ms. Ashmita Sethi, Chairperson – Aviation Committee, AMCHAM and President & Country Head, Pratt & Whitney suggested AMCHAM could share feedback on taxation issues of MRO and SCOMET licenses. Mr. William L. Blair, Co-Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Vice President and Regional Executive Asia & India Lockheed Martin, asked about the U.S. Department of Defense linkages under iCET and the scope of the same like quantum, AI, space, cyber security, etc. Mr. Vivek Virmani, Planning Officer, DDP and COO, Defence Infrastructure Organization, who was also present in the discussions, was keenly interested in a proposal to discuss ways of collaboration with AMCHAM. He shared that the U.S. Department of Defense had connected them with Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). A mentor – prodigy style of connect for members and startups was suggested. A follow-up meeting with him separately to discuss the same was planned. The meeting concluded with a commitment of having regular engagements between JS (IC) office and the AMCHAM’s Defense Committee.
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