“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, Hon’ble 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 Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri 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, Shri 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.
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) partnered 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.
About SIDM : The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) is a not-for-profit association formed to be the apex body of the Indian defence industry. SIDM plays a proactive role as an advocate, catalyst, and facilitator for the growth and capability building of the defence industry in India. SIDM works closely with the government towards enabling the growth of the defence industry and collaborates with experts from the armed forces, academia and defence industry to optimize the industry’s development capabilities. SIDM has more than 150 members including large enterprises, MSMEs, FOEMs and regional industry associations.
About GIFAS : GIFAS (Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales), the French Aerospace Industries Association, is an industry body formed in 1908, that brings together some 400 companies ranging from the main prime contractors and system suppliers to SMEs that together form a cohesive, supportive and hard-driving high-technology sector specializing in the design, development, construction, marketing and maintenance of all aeronautical and space programmes and equipment, both civilian and military, as well as defence and security systems – planes, helicopters, drones, motors, devices and missiles, satellites and space launchers, major systems and equipment, defence and security systems.
GIFAS represents an industry whose 2016 sales turnover was € 60.4 bn, and that exports 86% of its output, directly employs 187 000 individuals and annually invests more than 14% of its sales turnover in R&D.