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India invites French investment in aviation sector

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PARIS (PTI): India has sought French investment in its aviation sector while asking aerospace companies from France and other nations to manufacture their products in the country.

In a series of meetings on Thursday with top French government officials and senior executives from various companies present at the 51st Paris International Air Show, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju told them that India offers a vast opportunity as a market as well as a manufacturing hub.

Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjeet Singh also held a series of meetings with the companies present in the defence sector, including Dassault, from which India has decided to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets.

Besides the two ministers, a number of top executives from various Indian companies held bilateral meetings to explore collaborative business opportunities.

The top Indian business leaders present included Anand Mahindra, Anil Ambani and Naresh Goyal.

The Mahindras, who have established a significant presence in the defence sector, signed a number of pacts, including the ones with European giant Airbus Group.

Among other Indian companies, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and home-grown private sector defence systems maker OIS Advanced Technology have set up stalls at the prestigious biennial Air Show on the outskirts of Paris in Le Bourget.

Raju also met the Minister for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries of France, Alain Vidalies and discussed various issues related to the aviation sector.

"The discussion focussed on manufacturing, infrastructure development and investment into India's aviation sector," the Ministry said in a statement.

While meeting the senior management personnel of major companies like Bombardier, Boeing, Textron, Thales, Dassault and SAFRAN, Raju told them about various opportunities in Indian aviation market and the "Make in India" programme.

He invited them to manufacture their products in India as they already have a large presence in the country.

The Minister also invited the foreign companies for "India Aviation 2016".

Raju also interacted with the Indian Exhibitors participating in the Air Show.

"They informed the Minister about their products and services being offered to the global industry," the statement added.

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