A top defence trade mission from the United Kingdom is in India beginning February 6 exploring business opportunities for collaboration with both Indian private and public sector companies in the defence and security sector.
Organised by the United Kingdom’s Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) in co-operation with the UK trade association Aerospace Defence Security (ADS), the trade mission of British defence companies are here to meet key decision makers and potential partners in the Indian defence sector in New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai till February 10, according to the British High Commission in India's capital.
With the full support of Indian Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju, the team will visit the three Indian cities, focusing on three aspects of defence sector business - in Delhi for the overarching Indian government perspective, in Bangalore for aerospace, electronics and land systems, and in Mumbai for maritime systems.
"Each hub will provide an opportunity for real business-to-business interaction identifying opportunities and potential partnerships as well as providing UK companies a better understanding of how to do business in India," the British High Commission in New Delhi said.
"A range of private sector and government speakers will provide an overview of the defence market place and environment in India. Face to face discussions between UK missioners and Indian defence companies will be facilitated in each hub by the Indian defence trade associations - Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)," it added.
The leader of the British delegation and Minister for International Security Strategy Gerald Howarth, a member of parliament, in his statement, said: "This mission is not just simply about securing defence exports for the UK companies. It is about forming long-lived partnerships with Indian companies – both public and private – as India emerges as a leading nation in the world and pursues its policy of self-reliance and indigenisation of the defence market."
Howarth said UK companies have a great deal to offer – cutting edge technology, modern work practices and an open approach to collaboration and innovation. "We also have a long, deep and common cultural history, which I believe provides a superb platform for really working together and forging a strong defence as well as business alliances."
This defence trade mission to India is historic and the largest - over 20 major UK defence companies are here to both learn about how to do business in India but also seeking opportunities to work with Indian businesses and the Ministry of Defence.
UKTI DSO head Richard Paniguian, in his remarks, said: "India is a truly exciting defence and security market for UK companies to be in. It is an emerging global power of immense importance. It is also at a real point of evolution in its defence industry as it looks to turn around from importing some 70 per cent of its defence equipment to designing, developing, manufacturing and supporting some 70 per cent indigenously."
"I want UK companies to be part of that journey, forming strong partnerships with the Indian defence
industry along the way," Paniguian added.
He also noted that there is an immense breadth of defence and security opportunities in the Indian market, as UK defence companies did about $1.6 billion worth of business here in 2010.
The reason for UK defence businesses' interest in India is the like rise in Indian defence budget that is expected to grow to $42 billion by 2015 to keep pace with its desire for a modern, self-reliant and leading-edge defence sector as the key to its armed forces' transformation.
Also, it is expected that India will spend about $100 billion on defence acquisition in the 2007-2012 five-year plan period and about $120 billion in the next five-year plan from 2012 to 2017.
The UK companies on the trade mission are: Augusta Westland, BAE Systems, Cobham India Private Ltd, EADS UK, Enterprise Control Systems Ltd, Flowserve Flow Control, Force Protection, GE Intelligent Platforms, Goodrich, Horstman Defence Systems Limited, James Fisher Defence, Lockheed Martin UK, Martin-Baker, MBDA, Miro Technologies, Northrup Grumman ISE, Remotec UK Ltd, QinetiQ, Raytheon, Selex Galileo India Private Ltd, Smiths Detection, Sonardyne, Strongfield Technologies, Thales UK, Ultra Electronics, and WFEL Limited.
Apart from holding conference on February 6 in New Delhi, the team will be in Bangalore on February 7 and 8 for visits to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Tata Power and Dynamatics. On February 9, the team will be in Mumbai for visits to Mazagon Docks and on February 10, they will visit Larsen & Toubro.