Agreement on collaboration for producing civil choppers and aircraft

In the backdrop of India looking increasingly towards the West for its defence hardware, Russia has offered to set up manufacturing facilities in the country for joint production of defence hardware and also reached an understanding for setting up two major projects in a joint venture for producing civil choppers and aircraft.

This was decided during the meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin and Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov in St. Petersburg. Mr. Sharma is there to attend the 7th India Russian Forum on Trade and Investment. The visit assumes significance in the light of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s forthcoming visit to Russia next month.

Both Mr. Sharma and Mr. Rogozin agreed on collaboration to jointly develop and manufacture civilian aircraft and helicopters for especially for emergency relief and medical purposes. Both Russia and India felt that these two aircraft projects should not be seen only for domestic use but will also explore the possibilities of third country exports. One of the projects under collaboration for civilian aircrafts/helicopters envisages the setting up of the joint venture for manufacturing in Indian factories different modifications of light helicopters Ka-226T for medical, rescue and other purposes. The Russian side has mooted a new proposal involving IL-112V.

Russia also proposed to India for setting up manufacturing facilities in the country for production of defence equipment in various fields. The opportunity could also be used to make India as the export base for such defence hardware it was felt.

Mr. Sharma forcefully pressed for market access for Indian pharmaceutical products and asked for regulatory simplification for supply of Indian generic medicines to Russia. “As Indian pharma companies are keen to establish manufacturing bases in Russia, it is imperative that the Russian government should address their concerns in an expeditious manner,’’ Mr. Sharma has been quoted stating in the official statement issued here .

Putting a major thrust on joint manufacturing in hi-tech areas, India and Russia have developed a framework for tracking key priority projects at the Ministerial level. The sectors covered under this joint understanding and intention on possible plans and priority investment projects for enhancing Indo-Russian Economic and Investment Cooperation include automobile, industrial and road-building machinery, chemical and petrochemical industry, civil aircraft construction, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, energy, diamonds, IT, automobiles, and agro and processed foods.Indentifying the biotechnology and nanotechnology as emerging areas for collaboration, Mr. Sharma also stressed the need to leverage India’s expertise in Information Technology sector.