New Delhi, Sept.8 (ANI): “India and Israel together can form a formidable team to be world leaders in the defence arena. India with its frugal engineering skills and the repository of high technology with Israel, is a winning combination. Together we can access and capture markets that are out of our reach individually,” said Tarun Vijay, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, Government of India, here today at an international seminar on ‘Strategic Defence Cooperation between India and Israel’ organised by FICCI jointly with SIBAT, Ministry of Defence, Israel.
He said that the ‘Make-in-India’ campaign that was announced by Prime-Minister Modi in his Independence Day speech last year infused new vigour to the defence production sector. Indian companies are now seeking to explore co-production and co-development opportunities with foreign OEMs.
“This augurs well with the huge defence modernization programme, availability of skills sets and willingness to invest in strategic sector and the aspiration to get a piece of the global defence business by integrating into the global supply chain of OEMs.”
However, he added, that any partnership has its challenges. Discharge of Offsets was one that the Israeli companies faced till a month back.
“I am happy to share with you that the Ministry of Defence has now allowed the OEMs flexibility to change the Indian Offset Partner and thereby giving flexibility to fulfil their offset obligations,” he said.
Mr. Vijay said that over the past decade or so, Israel has become India’s second largest arms supplier. During the first decade of the 21st century, Israel transferred an estimated USD 10 billion worth of military equipment to India.
He urged the stakeholders to share the suggestions and outcome of deliberations from the seminar which he could then take up with the Ministry of Defence for successful implementation and ease of doing business.
Ms. Dana Kursh, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel in India, said that India and Israel should continue to invest in Indo-Israel initiatives and innovations. Over the years, G2G ties have matured and given way to B2B meetings which would ensure collaboration between Indian and Israeli companies. She added that now the onus was on the private sector to implement the decisions reached at in G2G meetings. Ms. Kursh said that the two nations have been combating terrorism, and technology would contribute effectively towards safely taking care of its citizens.
Brigadier General (Retired) Mishel Ben Baruch, Director, SIBAT, said that Israel shared a relationship with India that goes much beyond the buyer-seller relationship and extends to transfer of technology and joint research and development. He added that Israel was committed to enhance partnership with India in its ‘Make in India’ initiative. During the seminar more than 200 B2B meetings that have been scheduled between India and Israeli Private Sector which reflects the commitment of the two nations towards strengthening the bilateral relationship.
Ashok Kanodia, Chairman – FICCI Sub Committee on Defence SMEs and MD, Precision Electronics Ltd., urged the government to give expeditious clearance to defence licenses for the sector to grow. He said that the present Indian Government was proactive in its approach and wanted to create a level-playing field for all stakeholders. Mr. Kanodia added that the seminar had given an opportunity to small and medium enterprises as well to showcase their capability in manufacturing and producing defence equipment.
Mr. Jayant Patil, Executive Vice President – Defence and Aerospace and Member of the Board Land T Heavy Engineering, Larsen and Toubro Ltd., said that Israel’s defence technology combined with India’s technocrats could together achieve great milestones. He added that Indo-Israel strategic relationship could a long way by sharing each other’s experiences. India could learn from some of SIBAT’s successful defence models and replicate them as they have the potential to succeed in India. (ANI)