India - South Korea: India, South Korea Committed to Comprehensive Defence Partnership
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India is commitment to foster deep and comprehensive defence partnership and cooperation with South Korea, particularly in the industrial domain, Defence Production Secretary Raj Kumar said on Mar. 26
Kumar said it was heartening to note that all major Korean defence and ship-building companies have shown interest in Indian defence acquisition programmes.
He said the industry-to-industry interactions between the two countries were on the rise and it is expected to rise further in future with our joint efforts. "Collaboration of Korean companies with Indian companies has already started carving out success stories and hopeful that more success stories will be emulated in the future," Raj Kumar added.
FICCI had organise a joint interaction between the Indian defence production department and the embassy of Republic of Korea here in which Raj Kumar said India had already announced a list of 101 defence products to be produced in India under the 'Make in India' initiative, which were earlier imported. "A good number of Korean companies have come forward to assist in indigenising these items by the Indian companies," he noted.
Kumar also said that under the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (self reliance) programme, the government has also taken up two important steps which include opening up of Foreign Direct Investment in the defence sector up to 74 per cent from earlier 49 percent, under the automated route. The second includes setting up of two dedicated defence industrial corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, which will provide highly conducive eco-system for investment with attractive set of incentives.
"I would invite the Korean defence industry to take advantage of these investor friendly initiatives by investing in these corridors. The Government of India commits towards a comprehensive partnership with the Republic of Korea in defence cooperation and also for enhanced industrial defence cooperation in the near future by participation of Korean companies in India’s Make in India campaign," he said.
He further stated that it is of paramount importance that both the nations have further agreed to intensify defence cooperation under the Joint Committee Meeting (JCM). "We are looking to elevate our defence trade from a traditional buyer-seller mechanism to one that of co-production and co-development."
Under the JCM, an industry cooperation sub-group has also been proposed with a purpose to develop sustained dialogue between the defence industry of both the nations. This sub-committee will play a pivotal role in fastening the partnerships between the defence industries in future.
Republic of Korea's Minister of National Defence Suh Wook, in his address, said the two countries have agreed to scale up cooperation in commerce as well as defence sector. "The governments and the companies are proactively looking at defence cooperation and I hope that theses industry meeting would be beneficial on affirming India's defence friendly environment. This would be an opportunity for defence bilateral relations to elevate to next level as industry-to-industry interactions between India and Korea are on a rise and both nations have agreed to intensify defence cooperation under co-chaired meeting."