Friday, May 24, 2024

India’s Defence Sector Deepens Collaboration With UK At DSEI 2023

By Kamal Shah

London, UK – The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event at ExCeL London experienced a prominent representation from India’s defence sector. Orchestrated by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), the delegation is reflective of India’s rapidly evolving role in the international defence arena.

Colonel Sanjeev Poonia (r), Additional Director Aerospace & Defence at FICCI, told Indian Aerospace & Defence about the significance of India’s ‘Make in India for the world’ initiative and the weight it carried at the inaugural. He also underlined the importance of the considerable delegation strength present. “Our strong representation at DSEI highlights India’s pivotal role in the defence conversation,” he emphasised.

This sentiment was shared and expanded upon by Avnish Patnaik, who leads SIDM’s International initiatives and engages with domestic and international corporations, government, media, and other agencies to help shape India’s defence industrial priorities. Sharing his insights on the collaborations. He told IADB, “We had an excellent meeting with Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Collins, and he hosted select CEOs and SIDM. The entire conversation was about increasing our cooperation to the level where things are moving quickly.”

Expounding further on the nature of this cooperation, Patnaik mentioned, “Right now, the object is not only to increase trade cooperation at the Government-to-Government level for larger platforms; the British Government is also looking at delivering more Business-to-Business inputs.” He added that connecting more businesses from both nations was a central discussion point.

Highlighting the groundwork that laid the foundation for the DSEI conversations, Patnaik remarked, “SIDM had done an exclusive standalone visit in March during which we met the Deputy NSA, the Minister for Defence Procurement, and the Minister for Investment, and it was one-to-one; this is coming following that. SIDM has been working on this relationship for the past one and a half years. The relationship is building up very quickly.”

Patnaik elaborated on the way forward: “But now we must work with the British companies and the Government to identify joint projects that both industries can work towards. So, this is our six to eight month agenda.”

Discussing the broader vision, he said, “DefExpo, whenever it happens, the plan is to have more and more business connects, and again, the plan is to have joint programs that both these industries can work towards; otherwise, it is very organic.”

Patnaik then emphasised the ongoing high-level governmental interactions and concluded, “Things at the higher level are going on, at the G2G level, and those will keep on going; there are certain decisions with the Indian government, but when it comes to industry, we are, of course, very keen, and we will also take feedback from the meeting that Indian companies have had in these last two to three days and take a stalk of what happened. The interest is there.”

The collective perspectives reiterate India’s commitment to deepening its defence and trade ties, leveraging events like DSEI as strategic platforms for these evolutions.

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