by Staff Correspondent
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasized on the importance of ‘Make in India’ by delineating the core ethos of the campaign that focuses on manufacturing cost-effective quality products for India and for the world.
Whilst speaking at the webinar on India-Sweden Defence Industry Co-operation, based on the theme ‘Capitalizing Opportunities for Growth and Security, organized by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence through Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and Swedish Security and Defence Industry (SOFF).
The Defence Minister also invited Swedish firms to invest in Defence Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, expressing that they can benefit from the unique incentives being offered by the state governments and the availability of a highly-skilled workforce in India.
In his inaugural address, India’s Defence Minister listed out several progressive policy and procedural reforms undertaken by the Government of India. “The motto of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ is ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make for the World.’ The campaign envisages the defence sector to play a vital role in India’s economic growth and focuses on manufacturing cost-effective quality products for the home and overseas.
He further highlighted the fact that Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 encourages domestic manufacturing and has provided a strong foundation for India to emerge as the defence manufacturing hub.
“Policy decisions such as FDI liberalization and improved ease of doing businesses are attracting top defence companies of the world and have Joint Ventures establishments in India,” he further added.
Ease of FDI regulations and introduction of Buy (Global – Manufacture in India) in Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 invite foreign OEMs to participate in the opportunities offered by the Indian Defence industry.
“Foreign OEMs can set up manufacturing facilities individually or partner with Indian companies through a joint venture or technology agreement to capitalize on the ‘Make in India’ opportunity,” said the Defence minister.
The webinar saw in attendance and was graced by India Defence Minister as the Chief Guest, while the Defence Minister of Sweden Mr Peter Hultqvist as the Guest of Honour. Other eminences who were also present be like the Ambassador of India to Sweden, Tanmaya Lal; Ambassador of Sweden to India Mr Klas Molin; Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) Mr. Raj Kumar; other senior officers from the Defence Ministries of the two nations; representatives of Indian & Swedish Defence Industries and officials of SIDM & SOFF.
Emphasizing on the fact that there is a huge potential for more India-Sweden partnerships, he further highlighted the strong capabilities of Indian defence industry in various fields and their willingness to collaborate with Swedish companies for co-development and co-production in areas of mutual interest.
“Swedish firms already have a major presence in India. There is a lot of scope for Swedish and Indian defence Industries for co-production and co-development. Indian industry can also supply components to Swedish Industries. Technology-centric FDI policy will enable Indian industries to collaborate with Swedish companies in the field of niche and proven military technologies,” stated the Defence minister.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s counterpart Mr Peter Hultqvist, Hon’ble Minister of Defence, Government of Sweden reiterated that Swedish companies are tremendously benefitting from India in terms of skills, technicians, and engineers.
“While India is greatly benefiting from Sweden’s knowledge and expertise, the scope of expanding defence cooperation must be deepened especially between SMEs. Through the combined efforts, both the countries can bring solutions to the problems of the future,” he added.
Elevated bilateral cooperation between India and Sweden has been marked by the reciprocal visits and meetings of the senior leadership of both the countries at the international fora. The defence sector has been recognized as a key aspect of this cooperation where the scope for the Industries from both sides to collaborate is immense. Most recently, this momentum was further enhanced in March 2021, where both leaders, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Sweden Mr Stefan Löfven converged on strategic issues related to, inter alia, defence, counterterrorism, peace and security.
India’s Defence Minister pointed out the fact that India has a vast Defence Industrial Base with 41 Ordnance factories, nine Defence Public Sector Undertakings and expanding private sector Industries supported by an ecosystem of over 12,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
“India has a robust shipbuilding industry. The ships constructed by Indian shipyards are of global standards and extremely cost effective. India and Sweden can collaborate in the shipbuilding industry for mutual benefit,” he said.
Rajnath Singh lauded the continuous efforts of SIDM, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and SOFF to strengthen the industrial cooperation between the two countries.
On the occasion, an MoU was signed between SIDM and SOFF to promote bilateral defence industrial relations wherein a dedicated Joint Working Group will be formed to take forward mutual objectives.
Shri Rajnath Singh also released the first edition of the ‘SIDM Members Directory 2020-21’ – A 360º Overview of the Indian Defence and Aerospace Sector’. The Directory captures the capabilities of 437 companies in the Defence and Aerospace sector, facilitates ease of access to information on the Indian Industry and serves as a one-stop reference for the global defence community. The Directory also contains the latest 108 item 2nd Positive Indigenization List.