Obama’s re-election will boost economic, defence ties: PM

Published: 08th November 2012 10:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2012 10:48 AM   |  A+A-

Manmohan Singh

Indian leadership on Wednesday congratulated Barack Obama for winning a second term in the White House and hoped that economic and defence ties between the two countries would be furthered.

Obama has been instrumental in pushing through defence deals worth $10 billion with India in his first term, creating thousands of jobs back home. Many of the defence deals with the US are still in offing.

“I have no doubt that there is much more we can do together to further strengthen the India-US partnership and thereby advance peace and stability, expand mutual economic opportunities, harness the potential of science and technology, innovation and higher education and empower our people to address global challenges,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his congratulatory message to Obama -- with whom he shares a special equation.

Obama has also been pushing for better relations with India as was evident during his four-day presidential tour -- his longest overseas visit as the US President. Obama, who broke the racial ceiling by becoming the first Black to be elected to the top post, also expressed his solidarity with India in countering terrorism.

According to keen watchers of the defence industry, there would be “renewed thrust” from Obama for signing more defence deals with India to help the economic crises back home. The total defence trade between the two countries in the last 10 years has been $10 billion. In 2011, only India  purchased military equipment worth over $4.5 billion from the US.  The big ticket deals signed with the US in the last five years include eight P-8I maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft from Boeing valuing $2.1 billion.  India is also buying 10 C-17 heavy-lifters from Boeing for $4.1 billion. The six C-130 J special operations aircraft valuing $1.2 billion have already arrived in the country and order for six more is in the offing. India is also planning to place an order for M777 ultra light howitzers for $700 million.

In a reciprocal gesture, the US also eased its US Export Controls and Technology security policies for India and removed premier Defence Research and Development Organisation and Indian Space Research Organisation from the Commerce Department Entity List.

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