India can become base for defence industry: Rajnath

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) India can prove to be an excellent base for the defence and aerospace industry, for provision of repair, overhaul, maintenance and servicing facilities, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
The minister said that India can also become a centre for regional distribution and services.
Addressing the Ambassadors’ Round Table Conference on Aero India 2021 through video conference, Rajnath said Aero India since inception has carved out a place for itself and has become a leading international event in the area of showcasing the capabilities of Indian defence and aerospace industry.
Aero India 2021, the 13th edition of the biennial air show and aviation exhibition is scheduled to be held from 3-7 February 2021 in Bengaluru.
“India has one of the largest defence industrial eco-systems in Asia and we aspire to build further on our strengths,” the minister said.
He also said that the private sector and public-private partnerships through joint ventures and foreign direct investment have also boosted the national efforts in building the domestic defence and aerospace industry.
“Aero India provides an ideal platform for businesses, decision-makers and policymakers to interact to address common concerns and contribute to global defence and aerospace ecosystems and position India as a defence manufacturing hub,” he said.
With numerous business events and large number of participants, Aero India will provide the intellectuals and industry new meeting grounds for developing military industrial enterprise, the minister said. “India has one of the world’s largest technically qualified manpower and we do claim to be a force to reckon with in the field of Information Technology,” he said.
The minister said that it would provide an excellent opportunity for leading companies worldwide to enter into partnerships with established Indian companies for repair, overhaul, maintenance and other services.
He also talked about numerous government reforms which have been announced for ease of business. “It has been endeavor of our government to constantly undertake policy initiatives to attract investments in defence and aerospace industry,” he said.
He also highlighted that a new category of Buy global – manufacture in India has been further introduced in Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020. “The new category incorporates manufacture of the equipment or (Maintenance Repair and Overall) facility for equipment, through foreign company’s subsidiary in India,” the minister said.
He highlighted that from design to production, Indian government is trying to make the country one of the leading countries of the world in the defence, aerospace and naval shipbuilding sectors with active participation of public and private sector.
“For fulfilling the twin objectives of self-reliance and exports Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formulated a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020),” he stressed.
He pointed that India will be strictly adhering to all the requisite protocols to tackle Covid-19. “In view of the ongoing pandemic, it has been decided that emphasis will be laid on contactless experience to all exhibitors and visitors,” the minister pointed.
He said that Aero India will provide great opportunities for a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership between the defence and aerospace industries of the world and India.
“We need to remove impediments coming in the way of our natural alliance in a purposeful and progressive manner and join hands to make this world a more secure, peaceful and prosperous place,” the minister said.

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