India, US to move to co-production, co-research relationship: PM

Onboard Air India One, Oct.1 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that as far as defence cooperation is concerned, India and the United States of America are trying to move from a buyer-seller relationship to a relationship based on co-production and co-research.

"Well, in the area of defence cooperation, we are trying to move away from the buyer-seller relationship to a relationship based on co-production, based on co-research, and the outcome of the deliberations on defence cooperation is in line with our own thinking," he said.

"We would like our own domestic industry to get involved in domestic production. We would also like Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the extent of 26 percent to come into defence production. So, I think, this is a step forward," he added.

He also said both countries had reviewed cooperation in the area of civil nuclear cooperation, and added that there is now an early works agreement between Westinghouse and NPCIL.

The Prime Minister also said both countries are committed to work together to enhance understanding and cooperation in the field of education, energy and environment-related issues.

He further said there have been U.S. business concerns, but very largely these are concerns which arise out of the slowdown of the Indian economy.

"When the Indian economy was growing at the rate of eight to nine percent, I think everybody was quite happy. Even when there were defects in our policies, they were overlooked, and when the economy slows down people try to find fault and excuses," he said.

"The President (Barack Obama) did not go in detail with me. He did understand our concerns, but he also said that it is time that the CEOs Forum on both sides sat together to discuss these issues and to find out the (common) meeting ground," he added.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was on a five day visit to United States, returned home this evening. He had addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations, and had talks with his counterparts from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. (ANI)

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