India, Britain in major defence and security push

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by youngindian, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    July 12th, 2009 - 5:30 pm

    London, July 12 (IANS) A 60-strong Indian business team representing the defence and security sectors - the largest such from the country - is to visit Britain in September for talks that could lead to a massive boost in military business ties.

    The Indian companies they represent will be matched up with British firms to explore areas of mutual interest and expertise, former British trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said.

    “We will try to match the Indian companies with up to 40 British companies,” Hewitt told IANS on the sidelines of an India-Britain business meeting in London.

    Hewitt will visit India in August in her capacity as the new Chair of the UK-India Business Council, keeping a strong focus on small and medium-size enterprises.

    “There is a huge potential in the area of defence and security,” said Hewitt, who hopes to take a major British business delegation to India in January 2010.

    The armed forces of India and Britain, facing the common threat of terrorism, have intensified joint exercises, exchanges and training courses in recent years.

    The famous British Red Arrow aircraft flew over the beaches of Goa in 2006, and an Indian naval fleet led by the 6,700-tonne destroyer INS Delhi and commanded by Rear Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema, arrived in the British port of Portsmouth last month to conduct exercises aimed at honing their skills at tackling African sea piracy.

    Now the two countries have begun to eye the lucrative market in defence and security to give further substance to their strategic partnership.

    With terrorism emerging as a major post-Cold War global threat, both countries are keen to set up joint ventures that will tap their respective expertise and skills.

    Britain’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Business Mervyn Davies told IANS recently he had been “very impressed” by his meetings with representatives of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at the Paris Air Show in June.

    Davies said he had discussed entering into partnerships with Indian companies in the areas of aerospace and advanced security, in which Britain had “excellence.”

    “That is clearly, over the next few years, a huge area of focus for UK Trade and Investment (the government’s trade promotion body),” he said.

    Moves toward setting up joint ventures in defence were given concrete shape by a visit to Bangalore in February by Richard Paniguian, the head of UKTI’s newly-formed Defence and Security Organisation (DSO).

    During the visit - his first foreign tour as DSO head, Paniguian said the market for such joint ventures was governments around the world for whom domestic security had emerged as the “number one priority”.

    The threat of terrorism had created a huge potential for “companies which are at the leading edge of technology, of manufacturing technology, the entire spectrum of homeland security, which includes anything from airport and port detection, right through to high level identification principles”.

    Cutting-edge British defence companies that have already set up in India include Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Cobham and Hampson. Paniguian said he hoped in turn to see many more Indian defence manufacturers gain access to the British market in 10 years’ time.

    Likewise, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has sought the foreign direct investment cap in India’s defence industry to be raised from the current 26 percent to 49 percent.

    Assocham argues such a step would allow the government to cut down on its massive arms imports bill and develop a more indigenously-based high-tech defence industry at the same time.

    India, Britain in major defence and security push
     
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  3. sky

    sky Regular Member

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    i hope britian will honor its commitment helping india fight terror and improving its security.in the past its always been sensitive to pakistani outcry when britain ever sold arms to india.lets hope this is a new chapter in relations between india and britain.
    ONE WORD OF WARNING ,WE HAVE A TERRIBLE RECORD OF PROVIDING EQUIPMENT ON TIME AND ON BUDGET.COST OVER RUNS SPIRAL WAY OUT OF CONTROL,SO INDIA NEEDS TO MAKE SURE IT INCLUDES PENALTY CLAUSES IN ALL CONTRCTS
     

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