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CII, UKADS signs pact to facilitate defence trade

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the United Kingdom's AeroSpace, Defence and Security (UKADS) signed a pact to facilitate defence trade between the two countries for and joint activities.

UKADS, a business institution, already has a history of working in India through the former Defence Manufacturers Association (DMA) office here and had opened a Bangalore office in October 2009, which would be officially launched on Friday.

After signing a memorandum of understanding, CII Deputy Director General Gurpal Singh said India and the UK has a strong strategic relationship, which was evident by the level of cooperation achieved in science and technology, education and security related issues.

"The huge Indian Defence market has the potential to attract the UK defence manufacturers and thus offers a great opportunity for building long-term relations in the defence industry as well.

"However, till date, the process has been spotty and less than fully coherent. India's acquisition of UK defence equipment and access to UK defence industry are still very small. Joint research and development is there in some form, but has seen only limited success," Singh said.

Emphasising the need to enhance interaction between Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies of both countries, Singh said CII, as an industry association, was working towards it.

Stating that, British companies should come forward to aid India by establishing their production here. It will support in transferring high technology, knowledge, research and development, thereby supporting indigenisation.
UKADS chief executive Rees Ward said UK was number one in Europe and number two in the world behind only the US in aerospace, defence and security and India was a major global player and a vital market in its own right.

"Together, companies in both countries can create lasting partnerships to deliver lasting economic and employment benefits to both our nations. In the rapidly evolving aerospace, defence and security market, India has demonstrated time and time again that it is now one of the most exciting and innovative countries to work with," he said.

"As the UK's trade organisation for these sectors, it is clear to us that building closer ties with the CII will benefit UK and Indian companies alike," Ward added.

The MoU's highlights include sharing information of mutual interest, give maximum adequate advance notice of events, co-ordinate on mutually relevant issues, organise Indo-British industry conclaves, expertise in offsets sector, and organise inward and outward trade missions.

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