EXCLUSIVE

Modi to inaugurate Aero India 2019, address global CEOs in big Make in India pitch

PM to engage global business leaders for last time before elections

February 11, 2019 By Vishal Thapar Photo(s): By PIB
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting an earlier edition of Aero India in 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Aero India 2019 - India's biggest bi-ennial airshow - at Yelahanka near Bengaluru on February 20.

At the event, he will also address a CEOs Round Table meeting which will have the top executives of leading Defence and Aerospace manufacturers from across the globe in attendance.

"The Prime Minister will use the occasion, which is marked by the presence of global business leaders, to make a big pitch for Make in India," highly placed sources disclosed to this reporter.

Modi's presence will scale up the level of interest and participation at the air show. He is the only Indian Prime Minister to have attended the event in the past, and will now be there for the second time. He will be returning to Aero India after a gap of four years. There was a huge buzz when he first went there in 2015 around the Make in India agenda, but progress in the Defence & Aerospace segment has been tentative since. The Prime Minister is expected to attempt renewing the interest of global business leaders in India for one last time before going in to seek re-election at the end of his Government's term.

Defence offsets contracts cumulatively worth $ 5.67 Billion (40,360 Crore) have been signed in the last three years alongside India's big ticket international defence deals to give local Business a share of the pie

India is seeking to leverage the size of its market and its big military spend to get benefits for its own Industry. Defence offsets contracts cumulatively worth $ 5.67 Billion (40,360 Crore) have been signed in the last three years alongside India's big ticket international defence deals to give local Business a share of the pie, according to figures tabled by the Government in Parliament on February 11.

The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) has been assigned a study to ascertain the impact of offsets on the Indian defence industrial base, and an interim report has been received, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre stated in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on February 11. The Ministry of Defence has signed 121 contracts with Indian companies in the last four years.

Forty-one FDI proposals have been approved for Defence - both public and private sector - in the last four years, resulting in FDI inflows of 238.60 Crore since April 2014. Four hundred and thirty licenses have been issued for production of licensable items in this sector.

As many as 368 companies, both foreign and Indian, have registered to participate at Aero India 2019. "We have received 110 crore as exhibition fee from the participants so far," an officer of the Ministry of Defence said. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is organising the airshow on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.