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India Signals Intent to Become Major Aviation Outsourcing Destination

11 February 2005

Indian Defence minister delivered an encouraging message to the future of India’s aviation sector during a speech at Aero India 2005.

Aero India 2005, the five-day international aerospace and defence exhibition, held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangalore and organised by India's department of defence, started this week. About 352 aerospace and aviation firms, including 126 from India, are participating in the show.

Inaugurating the Aero India 2005 exhibition, the Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee asserted that India's aviation industry had grown into one of the largest aeronautical complexes in Asia with ""total capability"" to make and maintain a wide array of aircraft, helicopters, engines and avionics.

India's strategy for self reliance in aviation had boosted in-house research and development, and resulted in breakthroughs in the fields of advanced alloys, composites and aircraft equipment, Mukherjee told a gathering that included aviation industry representatives and top defence officials from 31 countries.

During the ministers speech, Pranab Mukherjee said that companies can take advantage of India's highly skilled workers and low wages. Numerous orders have been received over the past few years with the US military industry showing a strong interest to open a link with India, now that relations between the two countries have improved a lot.

The 2005 exhibition will be the first time the US Air Force has attended the air show since sanctions imposed in 1998 after India's nuclear tests were lifted. This years show will also host Boeing and Airbus as well as Lockheed Martin and France's Snecma.

Pranab Mukherjee said that the ""Government of India is committed to promoting overall growth in agriculture, defence, communication and infrastructure development and other wide ranging spectrum of activities. Aviation and aerospace, endeavours, lead to better infrastructure, regional development, job opportunities for the educated youth of the country and therefore good return on investment. I am glad to see representatives from many nations at the seminar. I am sure the interactions will be to our mutual advantage.""

One statement suggested that India could spend up to $35bn (GBP 18.8bn) in the aviation market over the next 20 years.

""There is tremendous scope for outsourcing from India in areas where the companies are competitive. This event would provide that opportunity for exploring such possibilities…The presence of a significant number of foreign companies is testimony to the opportunities that India offers for joint ventures, technology transfer and co-production for the global market. At the same time, we would like to encourage joint participation in our defence systems development, testing and manufacturing efforts, as long as the economics of such joint ventures are mutually beneficial,” Mukherjee added.






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