Remarks by Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster at the USA Partnership Pavilion Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at DefExpo 2018


Thank you for that kind introduction.  I would like to thank the Kallman team, your sponsors, and the industry associations – AMCHAM, USIBC, and USISPF – for the great job you have done in organizing the USA Partnership Pavilion.  I know a lot of work goes into arranging events of this magnitude, and it certainly shows.

To our Indian friends, the U.S. delegation, U.S. defense industry leaders, and friends from around the world – it is my privilege to join you today.  The presence of such a diverse group of active duty military officers, government officials, and industry executives demonstrates the depth and breadth of our commitment to the U.S.-India Major Defense Partner relationship.  I am pleased to be a part of DEFEXPO, a key trade event in India and the region.  It is my great pleasure to celebrate the opening of the USA Partnership Pavilion with all of you.

Major Defense Partnership

This morning, we heard some very positive messages from Defence Minister Sitharaman and witnessed an impressive display of military systems.  I would like to take a few moments to speak about where we are today with the U.S.-India defense relationship.

The U.S. designation of India as a Major Defense Partner marked a significant milestone in U.S.-India defense cooperation.  President Trump and Prime Minister Modi are driving forward this Major Defense Partnership and our broader strategic relationship with a shared vision for peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.  Together with our Indian partners, we are building greater cooperation through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, military exercises, official visits and exchanges, and the sales of military systems and platforms.   This is all part of our growing and dynamic defense relationship.

U.S. Defense Industry

The U.S. defense industry plays a key role in our defense relationship.   Thank you for your leadership in helping advance this important relationship.

The U.S. defense industry has demonstrated its commitment to partnering with India to provide the highest quality, most reliable, and most technologically-advanced defense equipment and systems in the world.  U.S. companies are cooperating closely with the Indian armed services to deploy these systems to enhance military capabilities and improve interoperability.

I am impressed with the spirit of partnership between the U.S. and Indian defense industries, demonstrated by the growing number of joint ventures and the commitment to build an ecosystem of defense suppliers in India.  U.S. industry is leaning forward to work with Indian partners to bring advanced technologies and manufacturing capabilities to India, and to engage with our Indian partners on co-development and co-production.  U.S. companies are already employing thousands of skilled Indian professionals in the defense and aerospace sectors – and this number will continue to grow.

I am pleased to see 19 U.S. companies exhibiting this year.  Many of these companies have been working in India for years, while others are new to market.  It is great to have all of you here today.  I would also like to thank our Indian friends for taking the time to visit with our U.S. companies to discuss their defense solutions and the opportunities for doing business together.

Best wishes to all of you for a successful exhibition and for your endeavors in India.