India Wednesday invited leading international aerospace firms to partner with its strong defense organizations, state-run enterprises and the emerging private sector for the all-round development of its aerospace industry.
“We are open to joint ventures, long-term partnerships and license production under transfer of technology with leading international aerospace companies to make our aerospace sector strong, competitive and self-reliant,” Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony said while inaugurating Asia’s biggest air show Aero India 2011.
Asserting that India’s aerospace sector has emerged as the fastest growing in the world, Antony said the government has charted out a course to increase self-reliance in the defense sector by creating a strong industrial base across the country to counter the security challenges in the region.
“Our latest defense production policy spells out the blueprint of the roadmap that we intend to follow. We are encouraging our public and private sector industries to become active partners in this initiative,” Antony said, declaring open the eighth edition of the biennial event at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base near Yelahanka on the outskirts of this aerospace hub.
Noting that defense procurement procedure was being fine-tuned to make it transparent and efficient, the minister told a select gathering of national and international delegations that the scope of the offset policy guidelines has been expanded to civil aerospace, internal security and training to include eligible products and services to enable global firms bagging orders to discharge their obligations.
“We hope the revised Defense Production Policy and Procurement Policy will provide better opportunities to foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and help build indigenous capabilities to undertake outsourcing of products and services for the global aerospace and civil aviation industry,” Antony pointed out.
Reiterating that India’s democratic credentials and a fast-growing economy have convinced the world that the country could play a responsible and stabilizing role in the South Asian region, Antony admitted that violent disturbances in the immediate and extended neighborhood posed security challenges.
“We are, therefore, committed to ensure rapid modernization of our armed forces with the latest systems, equipment and platforms. The defense expenditure at 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is consistent with our projected security requirements and is bound to increase over the next two decades,” he said.
Lauding Aero India for carving a niche and acquiring international recognition and prominence, the minister said the international participation in the air show has increased 25 percent over the previous (2009) edition.
“By showcasing the latest international technology in military and civil aircraft, avionics, sub-systems and radars, the trade event will enhance the country’s emergence as an attractive market and a key outsourcing hub for global aerospace firms,” he added.
Unlike other countries in the region, India possesses cost-effective manufacturing, skilled engineers, efficient organizations, technology and software to become one of the leading aerospace and civil aviation markets in the region.