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'Huge opportunities for joint ventures in def manufacturing'

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Calling upon the aerospace and defence industry to join the 'Make in India' campaign and make it a success, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh has said the time is right for catapulting India into the league of technologically advanced nations.

"I believe the time is right for catapulting India into the league of technologically advanced nations and I invite you all to respond to the call and move along with us on this cause of 'Make in India'," Union Minister of State for Defence Singh said at an aerospace and defence symposium in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"There are huge opportunities for collaboration and creation of joint ventures in the defence electronics sector in India. However, the window of opportunity must benefit from big ticket acquisitions and offset opportunities," he said.

The one-day symposium on the theme 'Focus Where It Counts' was organised by the US-based Keysight Technologies, which produces test and measurement equipment and software.

The Minister said that major companies in the global aviation industry are keenly watching the market here and scouting for working with and outsource to the domestic companies for aerospace and defence products as India was fast emerging as a centre for engineering and design services.

Noting that the industry is dominated by defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and ordnance factories, the Minister said these two together contribute about 90 per cent of the total domestic manufacturing output.

The DPSUs and ordinance factories have played a critical role in building a domestic industrial base in this sector as they typically outsource 20-25 per cent of their production requirements to private companies, he said.

Besides, there is a small but growing number of medium and large private companies that have already entered or, are seriously evaluating entry into the market, he said, adding these are to an addition of 6,000 MSMEs that work closely with DPSUs and the private sector.

The Minister said the new government has adopted several measures to reinvigorate investors' interest and generate positive sentiment.

"The government has actively tried to form amicable ties and foster strong partnerships with all the stakeholders.

Additionally, within the first few months of coming into power initiatives like 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' have been introduced," he said.

"India's aerospace and defence sectors are undergoing tremendous changes in the recent years with the government focusing on building comprehensive made-in-India defence systems and launching mission critical aerospace projects," said Ketysight Technologies India Pvt Ltd country general manager Sudhir Tangri.

Emphasising that his company intends to play a vital role in assisting in the transformation India's aerospace and defence sector, Tangri said, "We at Keysight are aiming to bring expertise in measurement science in order to provide our Indian customers more time to focus on other issues."

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