India, US key stakeholders in Indo-pacific region: Defence Secretary

New Delhi Feb 21 (UNI) Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane while stressing on navigating the complex dynamics of the Indo-Pacofic region, said on Wednesday that India and the United States are the key stakeholders in the region as they are bound by shared values and common interests.

Speaking at the second edition of INDUS-X Summit here he said, “Today, we are witnessing a pivotal moment in the history of the Indo-Pacific region. The Indo-Pacific, with its vast expanse of oceans and strategic waterways, stands ts the crossroad of global commerce, geopolitics, and security. In navigating the complex dynamics of this region, India and the United States find themselves as key stakeholders, bound by shared values and common interests”.

Highlighting the robust defence partnership between the two countries, rooted in mutual respect and strategic convergence, Aramane mentioned Initiatives on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), launched jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden in 2022, a Defence Ministry statement said.

He said, “A pivotal aspect of our burgeoning relationship is the iCET that aims to establish ‘Innovation Bridges’ across key sectors, including defence, through expos, hackathons, and pitching sessions.”

He talked about the defence innovation bridge, a significant outcome of iCET, serving as a catalyst for collaboration between US and Indian startups in the defence sector.

He mentioned that the introduction of joint IMPACT challenges was a distinctive initiative aimed at collaboratively advancing defence and aerospace co-development and co-production initiatives.

“The incorporation of start-ups actively involved in pioneering solutions introduces a fresh dimension to the breadth and potency of this partnership,” he said.

On the bilateral partnership in aerospace and defence sectors, Giridhar Aramane said, “Our bilateral relationship is flourishing, with India increasingly turning to the United States for cutting-edge equipment and technology. The United States, in turn, sees India as a key partner in its Indo-Pacific strategy, leveraging India’s growing defence capabilities.” He also talked about the multilateral engagements where both the countries are stakeholders.

The official underscored the success stories of India’s defence production, ranging from shipbuilding, including aircraft carriers, to the development of advanced weaponry such as Tejas multi-role fighter aircraft, and attack and utility combat helicopters that has got the attention of international buyers across the globe.

Aramane called upon the India-US industry representatives and other stakeholders present in the summit to further deepen the strategic bilateral partnership and harness the full potential of the cooperation.

“By leveraging our respective strengths and capabilities, India and the United States can play a pivotal role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific, promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region,” he said.

The second edition of INDUS-X Summit was jointly organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), Ministry of Defence, India and US Department of Defense (DoD) on 20-21 February.

The two-day summit was designed to foster collective progress for defence industries across borders, particularly to align the technological capabilities for startups and MSMEs, and also to engage in discussions, bilateral dialogues on various pertinent objectives under the realms of INDUS-X and propose relevant outcome & way ahead to take the INDUS-X initiative forward.

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