21:09 GMT03 August 2020
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    India has launched a special series of articles in the run-up to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, set to be held in first week of June this year. In the first article, the Indian government has underlined defense cooperation as the centerpiece of the India-Russia partnership.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India is a guest country at this year's Forum.

    "This partnership goes beyond mere trade ties, rather it has elevated to a level where it entails a much more collaborative effort in the spheres of research, design development and production of state-of-the-art military platforms," a statement on the Make in India website said.

    The last few months have witnessed a series of co-operation agreements signed between India and Russia which includes incorporation of the India-Russia Helicopter Limited Company to manufacture Kamov-226T helicopter, long-term supply agreement of spares for the Sukhoi-30MKI, and four improved Krivak/Talwar-class stealth frigates.

    The Indian government expects that recent reforms to encourage foreign investment will boost co-operation between India and Russia. "Given the current government's determination to use India's private sector as a vehicle for indigenizing defense production, joint ventures between Indian private defense majors and Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers shall be viewed favorably under the current policy dispensation."

    India had revised FDI policy to allow up to 49 percent FDI through automatic route and up to 100 percent FDI under Government route on a case-to-case basis. India is the fifth biggest defense spender and has overall allocation for defense expenditure is $42.7 billion.

    "Both sides are working towards defense technology transfer, trade, research, co-development and co-production for defense articles and services, including the most advanced and sophisticated technology," the statement said.

    With over $130 billion to be invested in the military modernization program over the next 6-7 years, there is a huge opportunity for Indian and foreign firms across the supply chain.



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