Bengaluru–Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday wooed global aerospace firms to make their products in India, which had opened up the defence sector for foreign direct investment, partnerships, collaborations and joint ventures.
“We have an ecosystem for defence manufacturing, with ease of doing business for global firms, a liberalised investment policy and norms to set up production units, joint ventures and research facilities across the country,” said Parrkiar inaugurating the 11th edition of the five-day biennial Aero India 2017 expo here.
Announcing an innovation and technology fund in the defence sector, he said state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) would initially contribute to it for promoting start-ups and innovative culture.
“Additional initiatives, including policy changes are underway to boost indigenous defence production. Foreign companies can set up joint ventures with our state-run enterprises and private sector firms to make products, subsystems and components for their global supply chain and exports,” reiterated Parrikar.
Declaring that the Defence Ministry had made the Civil Aviation Ministry a co-host of the expo for the first time at this event, the Minister said the combined effort would help in promoting the industry in a holistic way for a win-win situation.
“We have combined the defence and civil aviation sectors for a holistic view of the industry as the demand for products in both the sectors is huge,” added Parrikar.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion at the Yelahanka base of the Indian Air Force on the city’s outskirts, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said India was set to become the world’s third largest civil aviation market in 2022 from ninth presently due to exponential growth of the sector.
“Indian air space is well defended and well connected for its exploitation. We are the fastest growing market for passengers. Hence, we have to be up to date in aerospace technologies not only for defence, but also civil aviation to meet the growing demand for more aircraft and airports,” he said.
Referring to the encouraging response to the ministry’s Regional Connectivity Scheme from the private operators, Raju said the scheme, christened Udan (Ude Desk ka Aam Nagarik) was to enhance air passenger traffic and make best use of the under-utilised and unused airports across the country.