Boeing’s vice-president of international business development in Defence, Space and Security, Lt Gen Jeff Kohler, said, “49 (percent) will see more investment from US companies.”

“It has been very difficult to go to our senior corporate leadership and justify an investment in India at 26 percent FDI," said Kholer, adding that he had often discussed investment potential in the huge Indian defence market with his colleagues in the aviation industry.

“49 percent or 40+ percent makes it much more attractive,” he told Indian journalists at the Singapore Airshow.
    
“If it truly goes to 49 percent, it would allow guys like me to go back to the corporate leadership and say now we have an opportunity to go and invest,” he added.
    
"We can show the rate of returns (on investment) to our shareholders and board of directors," said Kohler, adding that Boeing has identified quite a few small and medium enterprises in India who could raise the manufacturing capacity and capabilities.

Boeing has a large operation in New Delhi and a research centre at Bengaluru.

“We are committed to that. We want companies in India to grow with our business as partners for the long-term. We want them to be part of our commercial supply chain,” he said.
    
Kohler cited the example of Boeing’s centre of excellence in Winnipeg, Canada. The centre started off as a small project but it is now a major centre for Boeing’s composite work.

Among other facilities in India, Boeing has held discussions for setting up logistics support centres for the Indian Navy.
    
"We think the opportunities are still out there," he said, adding Boeing was continuing discussions with Indian representatives on various supply options.
    
Among other businesses and dealings in India, Kohler said Boeing was optimistic of signing a final contract for the supply of Apache and Chinook helicopters by the end of this year.
    
Boeing will also deliver five C17 transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force this year, having delivered five last year.

(Agencies)

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