NEW YORK: With India embarking on a massive defence modernisation programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited corporate leaders of America's defence sector to manufacture in India.
"In the defence sector Prime Minister has been saying from the very beginning that our first top priority is that defence manufacturing should be make in India," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters at a news conference here.
This is the message the Prime Minister conveyed to the Lockheed Martin Chairman Marillyn Hewson and other corporate leaders when he met them in various formats yesterday. "We told them, India offers a huge market for you. India has all necessary facilities for manufacturing. There is a capable work force. We are ready to provide all required facilities for this. Defence manufacturing in India is a win win situation for both of us," Swarup said.
During the one-o-one meeting with the Prime Minister Hewson said she is very committed to India. In fact they already have a facility in Hyderabad in cooperation with the Tatas where they are manufacturing tail segment of C-130 cargo planes.
Swarup said she discussed aerospace industry with the Prime Minister. It is well known that Lockheed wants to expand its manufacturing base in India in the aerospace industry and has been seeking a series of reforms from the Indian government including increasing the 49 per cent cap on foreign direct investment in the defense sector.
Chairman and CEO of AECOM Mike Burke also called on Modi at his hotel for talks. "The Prime Minister thanked him for the leadership that he has taken in developing the port of Dholera in Gujarat. And now they also have the contract for developing the smart city in Vizag," he said.
AECOM currently employs some 2,500 people in India and plan is to double this. AECOM is a global provider of architecture, design, engineering, and construction services.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on Modi during which they discussed on issues of sustainable development and smart cities.
"Thank you my friend Mike Bloomberg for one more insightful interaction on policy and global issues," the Prime Minister said in a tweet after the meeting. Bloomberg later tweeted that "leadership" of Modi is "changing" India and the world. Known for his passion for clean energy and smart cities, Bloomberg in the past had talked to Modi on his ambitious projects of 100 smart cities and renewable energy.
According to the Prime Minister's Office, Bloomberg shared his thoughts on several issues with Modi.