New Delhi. A number of mechanisms have strengthened the bilateral cooperation in the field of defence between India and Israel to enable healthy cooperation between the industries on both sides, especially start-ups, Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary (DP), Ministry of Defence, said on July 7.
“We have recently created a sub-working group under the Joint Working Group which will further pave the way for a very healthy cooperation between the industries on both sides, especially the Start-ups,” he said while addressing the virtual session on ‘India-Israel Defence Industry Cooperation-Collaboration Opportunities for MSMEs & Start-ups’, organized by FICCI and SIBAT, MoD, Israel, supported by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence,
Jaju said that over the last 3 years, we have been able to engage over 1,000 start-ups in the defence and aerospace sector. He also invited the Israeli industries to invest in development of the two defence corridors setup by the government in UP and Tamil Nadu.
“In the defence sector, the government plays a pro-active role in facilitating the B2B opportunities and create enabling conditions for the businesses to prosper,” he added.
Jaju added that the government has also launched the Atmanirbhar Bharat program which means a self-reliant India and in the Defence ministry we ensure to create a vibrant defence manufacturing eco-system for defence and aero-space sector.
“Self-reliant does not mean becoming protectionist but it is a policy of allowing Indian and foreign industry to collaborate so that our companies become part of the global supply chain,” he emphasised.
Highlighting the liberalizations done in the Indian defence sector, Jaju said that the government of India has allowed 74 per cent FDI under the automatic route and upto 100 per cent under the government route. “This will further help in deepening and strengthening the collaborations between the industries of both countries,” he noted.
Brig Gen (Res) Yair Kulas, Director, SIBAT, Ministry of Defence, said that we not only see India as a friend but also an important and strategic business partner. “The key to success in these times is enhancing the coordination and joint activities between the defence ministries of the two countries. We support international cooperation including collaboration which will enable exports between both the countries.”
Sanjeev Kumar Singla, Ambassador of India to Israel said that we need to be mindful that any manufacturing ecosystem cannot restrict itself to large manufacturing base, but also the small manufacturers that fuel the larger manufacturers. “Defence cooperation is the cornerstone of the India-Israel relationship,” he added. The Indian companies, he said brings with them the economies of scale backed by technical workforce and collaboration between the MSMEs of both countries promises to bring rich dividends.
Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel to India said India and Israel are shining examples of how two countries can support each other and bring solutions even during the pandemic period. “Israel and India are not only competing with each other but also completing each other,” he added.
SP Shukla, Chairman, FICCI Defence and Aerospace Committee and Group President (Defence, Aero, Agri and Steel); Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra Group said that the Ministry of Defence on its part has given the much-needed push to promote innovation in the defence manufacturing. The ‘Innovations for Defence Excellence– iDEX’ initiative is aimed to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development by actively engaging MSMEs, Start-ups and individual innovators, he added.
Ashish Kansal, Chair, FICCI Taskforce on Defence Exports and Director, SMPP Private Limited said that for India, Israel has been a source of high technology in military related equipment.
This article was published by India Strategic in July 2021.