New Delhi (NVI): Several Indian companies are in talks with Kazakhstan defence industries for co-production and co-development in defence production, a senior government official said today.
Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secretary (DIP), Ministry of Defence, said both India and Kazakhstan are looking at exploring opportunities that provide win-win solutions to the industries on both sides.
Speaking at the inaugural of the India-Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation Expo, a two-day virtual expo jointly organized by FICCI and Ministry of Defence, GoI, Jaju said several Indian companies are already in talks with Kazakh defence industries for co-production and co-development in defence production.
“India has come a long way in defence manufacturing. From a very paltry base, we now manufacture the entire range of equipment for all three verticals of the forces. These items range in the best in class artillery guns to battle tanks to bulletproof jackets to combat aircraft and the entire range of ships and submarines, missiles, and everything that is required in maintaining the sovereignty and defence of a nation,” the JS said.
Elaborating on the action plan for the India–Kazakhstan Defence Industry Cooperation, Mr Jaju said that the one important factor that binds all industry is not only to manufacture in India for India but also manufacture for all our friendly foreign nations. “We need to leverage opportunities on both sides and create opportunities for not just for co-development and co-production but to also meet each other’s requirements,” he noted.
Jaju said that the India-Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation Expo will open huge windows of opportunities for B2B interactions between industries on both sides.
“I’m aware that some companies are in an active dialogue stage with the Kazakh establishment. With India’s strengths in software coupled with strengths in hardware manufacturing, India is poised to be one of the major electronics manufacturing hubs in the world. The defence military complex that we have in India has participation from both public and private sector companies,” he further added.
Speaking at the event, Yerbol Bulakpaev, Head of Directorate, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, Kazakhstan said that the number of priority areas highlighted by the two countries was recorded in the joint group meeting in 2018.
“We hope to discuss the range of issues in the repair, maintenance and upgrade of the Military equipment, R&D and look to establishing joint ventures. The country is interested in the joint production of aerospace equipment,” he said.
On his vision roadmap for Development of Defence Industrial Cooperation and Indo-Kazakh military bilateral cooperation Bulakpaev said, “We are interested in cooperation in developing the robotised complex and land surveillance, and reconnaissance systems.” The webinar will deepen the cooperation between the two countries, he added.
Addressing the inaugural session of the defence cooperation expo, Prabhat Kumar, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan said, “As the Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan, nothing gives me more pleasure than to see our bilateral cooperation progressing rapidly signifying the strong bonds of strategic partnerships that have been forged.”
The India-Kazakh bilateral relationship has been growing since it was upgraded to strategic partnership during the Kazakh President’s visit to India.
“The new agreement includes conduct of joint training, exercises, military-technical cooperation, UN Peace keeping and exchange of intelligence. The strength of our robust bilateral defence cooperation can be gauged from the fact that a total of 246 officers from the Kazakh armed forces have been trained in India till date under the I-Tech defence program and we have a company level joint military exercise between both which is only done with select strategic partners,” Kumar said.
Both the nations are in the process of modernizing their armed forces and cooperate with each other in this regard. “Our bilateral trade reached a new milestone this year and cooperation in the field of military-technical cooperation can be a great catalyst to drive up these trade volumes even further,” he added.
At the event, Yerlan Alimbayev, Ambassador, Embassy of Kazakhstan, India said that the bilateral relationship between the two countries is very stable. There are positive dynamics which once again confirm the status of strategic partnership between the two countries.
“Striking example of high political trust between our countries is the joint peacekeeping activities within the framework of the UN mission in Lebanon which have additional impetus to the strengthening of the bilateral military cooperation,” Alimbayev said.
Both countries have the potential for further development in the military-technical development field. In this context, the existing joint working group on military-technical cooperation is an effective platform for establishing joint projects in military-industrial enterprises. “I am hopeful for the active participation of the Indian defence companies in the next defence expo in Kazakhstan,” he added.
S P Shukla, Chairman, FICCI Defence and Aerospace Committee and Group President (Defence, Aero, Agri and Steel); Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra Group said, Kazakhstan is our largest trade partner in defence manufacturing. “India has an INR 35,000 crore in defence exports target for the next five years, which is an increase from the current INR 1000 crores. This is a substantial improvement but if we work together, we can look forward to achieving this,” he said.
We have talked about the numbers, potential and the scope. As we further work together, we will see more similarities between the two countries. We need to create synergies between the two nations and further cement the existing bilateral relations, Mr Shukla added.
A presentation on various defence items was made by Ratmir Komratov, Executive Director, National Company Kazakhstan Engineering JSC, which happens to be the only engineering company in Kazakhstan with national status.
Delivering the vote of thanks, Ashish Kansal, Executive Director- SM Group of Industries assured the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India of good participation from the Indian industry at the Kazakhstan Defence Expo, KADEX 20-21, and said that the Indian industry will extend its best steps forward to increase the cooperation and manufacturing, and the joint ventures and technology transfers with the companies in Kazakhstan.