New Delhi, Oct 10 : Highlighting the numerous steps taken by the Narendra Modi government for making India an investment hub, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asked the French Defence industry to make India their production base and benefit from its vast market, as well as export potential.
Mr Singh said India and France intend to explore ways to strengthen their defence industrial partnership.
Addressing the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of French Defence Industries in Paris, the Union Minister called upon the French companies for collaboration, to modernise India's shipyards and Defence platforms by infusion of technology and asked them to make India it's base for production of Defence equipment, not only for India's large market, but also for export to other countries.
'We have undertaken significant economic reforms, to improve the ease of doing business and opening up the economy for investments. Our Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has opened up Defence sector manufacturing to a large extent, under the 'Make in India' initiative,' he said.
Mr Singh underlined the significance of implementation of a single Goods and Services Tax across India, the biggest tax reform, since it's independence.
'We have recently reduced our corporate tax significantly. For 'Make in India' in Defence, if there is need for further tax rationalisation, it may be considered suitably,' Mr Singh said.
He applauded the French companies for regularly participating in Def Expos organised in India, with great energy and enthusiasm.
He extended a special invitation to French firms to participate in the Def Expo, which will be held in Lucknow from February 5 to 8.
'Lucknow happens to be a city of rich culture and heritage and the French people are known to be highly appreciative of great cultures. Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh which is also a land of new opportunities,' he added.
He also highlighted India's substantial requirement of aero engines, both in civil and military domains.
The Minister urged the French OEMs to consider exploring development of an Aero-engine complex on government-to-government basis, saying French companies could leverage from advantages in India, such as low wages and availability of technical manpower.(UNI)