SIDM – GIFAS MOU aims to strengthen the strategic partnership in Defence & Aerospace between India and France.
Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi 16 April 2018
“The Draft Defence Production Policy 2018, under consideration now, envisions India to be one of the world’s top five defence producers by 2025 with self-reliance in 13 areas covering almost the entire range of weapons and systems. The export target has been fixed at Rs 35,000 crore ($5 billion) by 2025. The FDI limit is proposed to be raised to 74 percent under automatic route for niche technologies,” said Dr Subhash R Bhamre, Minister of State for Defence.
Dr Bhamre was addressing The Indo French Defence and Aerospace Cooperation conference in New Delhi. The conference draws on the very constructive and promising feedback resulting from the discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Mr Emmanuel Macron in March this year.
Dr Bhamre added that, “The Make-in-India initiative offers a valuable opportunity for Indian and French enterprises to enter into arrangements for co-development and co-production of defence equipment in India, including through transfer of know-how and technologies to the mutual benefit of all parties.” He expressed that the complexity of India’s security challenges makes self-reliance in defence all the more important.
Speaking at the event earlier in the day, Jayant Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Civil Aviation, urged French companies to manufacture in India and export to other parts of the world. Mr Sinha added that “The potential for Indian & French companies to collaborate for manufacturing & innovation in the defence industry is extraordinary. For companies wanting to develop their businesses, you need to adapt your products for the Indian market.”
The minister stated that the civil aviation sector is expected to grow steadily and is gearing-up to handle a billion passenger trips in next 15 to 20 years. He also informed that the Government would bring out a policy on drones and said that India would be the land of “air rickshaws” in future.
Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and GIFAS, the French Aerospace Industries Association, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the event. The MoU aims to promote a sustainable framework for present and future partnerships and cooperative actions between the French aerospace industry and the Indian defence industry by reaffirming the necessity to expand trade, through stronger economic and industrial cooperation, between France and India.
Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production, Ministry of Defence (MoD), said that French companies have a great opportunity in partnering with Indian companies for defence and aerospace manufacturing.
HE Mr Alexandre Ziegler, the Ambassador of France to India, said that France is the oldest strategic partner of India and the French companies have invested in a big way in India.
Jayant D Patil, Vice President, SIDM highlighted that French and Indian industry are thriving and doing well in technology and manufacturing.
Lt Gen Subrata Saha, (Retd), Director General of SIDM informed that SIDM would be facilitating more than 400 business to business meetings for GIFAS
80+ major French aviation and space players, representing both defence & civilian business interests, were present at the event which was attended by more than 200 delegates from 136 Indian companies.
Roundtables on Aerospace, Civil Aviation and Space were held where senior industry leaders from both sides and senior government officials led the discussions. These were followed by more than 200 one on one business meetings between the French and Indian businesses.
The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) is partnering with The Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), the French Aerospace Industries Association, for a series of events in New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad & Mumbai from 16 to 19 April 2018.