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US eyes defence, aerospace deals worth $3-5 bn with India

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets top government officials and business leaders in the US, about half a dozen large American corporations are pitching for deals worth $ 3-5 billion in defence and aerospace sectors, while many have expressed interest to partner in projects related to smart cities and digital India.

Broader contours of these potential deals are likely to be discussed in Washington where Modi would reach tomorrow evening as part of his five-day US visit ending on September 30.

Sources familiar with the matter said that companies interested in defence deals including for military helicopters include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Raytheon.

Besides many technology giants such as Google, IBM, Adobe and Cognizant are also believed to have expressed intention in partnering the government’s smart cities and digital India projects, among others.

Many other companies including Pepsico and consumer product majors are also likely to extend their support for projects like clean India and other ventures, sources said.

The Prime Minister held discussions with a group of top Indian-Americans, including business leaders, and they were invited to India to teach business and entrepreneurship.

Modi’s visit also comes at a time when his government is looking to attract more foreign investment as part of efforts to bolster the country’s economy.

To boost the manufacturing sector in the country, Indian government has recently launched the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Modi has a power-packed schedule of business meetings during his visit and during his interactions with top American corporate executives, he would be rolling out his policy of “red carpet and not red tape” to invite them to come, invest and make in India.

Among others, the ‘My Govt Digital Platform’ initiative was launched in July with an aim to help citizens contribute in governance by giving their views on important issues.

The Prime Minister is set to hold discussions with more than 15 top American corporate honchos, including top executives of Google, Boeing and General Electric, here tomorrow.

Besides, Modi would be participating in a business meet, to be organised by the US-India Business Council (USIBC), expected to be attended by 300-400 businessmen in Washington on September 30.

The visit is expected to further boost Indo-US trade ties. The value of trade between the two countries stood at nearly USD 64 billion in 2013.

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