Air&Cosmos International Magazine - issue 7

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INT007_018_021.qxp_Mise en page 1 09/05/2019 13:42 Page21


“FRANCE IS DELIVERING ON ITS France had the largest delegation at Aero India 2019. What are the reasons for such a strong showing? There are historical bonds of friendship and partnership between the two great democracies of India and France in many fields, particularly in aeronautics and defence.This is due to several geopolitical factors and convergences in certain areas of technology, as the Indian and French aeronautics and defence industries have been working together since the early 1950s.A partnership relationship of more than 65 years in our sector is rare enough to be appreciated and noted. The relationship between India and France is, therefore, excellent. It also resulted in the signing of a strategic partnership between the two nations in 1998, the first of its kind to be signed by India with another country. This partnership was recently strengthened on the occasion of the State visit by French President Emmanuel Macron in March 2018. This state visit was immediately followed, at the initiative of the GIFAS Council, by a GIFAS industrial mission to India in April 2018, which I had the honour to lead. It brought together 60 French industrial groups and companies in the aeronautics, defence and space sectors, representing more than 80 participants, with the aim of pursuing the implementation of the strategic partnership signed 20 years ago and strengthening Franco-Indian cooperation. It was also an opportunity for the French aeronautical and space supply chain to discover the 'Make in India' policy

10TH MAY 2019

N° 7


PROMISES” promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For more than four days, in New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad, the delegation visited local companies and I met with several ministers and officials. In parallel with these official meetings, more than 390 individual meetings were organised by GIFAS, as well as two seminars to present the different possibilities for cooperation. An MoU between GIFAS and the Indian professional association SIDM (Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers) was signed to promote partnerships and cooperation. This mission was a great success in terms of contacts and opportunities.This deep and rich cooperation — rich in terms of the number of projects — explains why the French presence is so strong at Aero India 2019. What has happened in India over the past year? It should be recalled that one of GIFAS's main missions is to increase the 'firepower' of its members, particularly small/medium and intermediate-size companies, and to provide support for coordination, promotion and marketing and commercial development. GIFAS is thus intended to help its members penetrate specific new international markets and collectively open doors that companies would be unable to open on their own. I want companies in the French aerospace supply chain to be able to grow in the most promising markets, where French technology is appreciated and sought after, as is the case in India. Since this mission to India a year ago, the French aerospace industry has not just

expressed its intentions but has kept its commitments in terms of investment. Some 15 projects of GIFAS member groups and companies have been implemented, including the creation of new industrial sites, the establishment of partnerships and joint ventures, and the opening of branch offices. Several of these were announced at Aero India 2019. I was very proud to be able to present on the Dassault Aviation stand the first Falcon 2000 cockpit front section produced by Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL), our local joint venture, in its Nagpur facility. GIFAS, meanwhile, opened an office in New Delhi in December, staffed by a permanent representative, and set up a GIFAS India Committee to improve coordination between local manufacturers. GIFAS is supporting its members in French industry's commitment to 'Make in India'. Broadly speaking, the French aeronautics industry is investing in India and delivering on its promises! This is an important message for the Indian authorities and for our Indian industrial partners. Will the French presence in India grow further? Yes, that is our objective and it is also the objective of the Indian authorities. India aspires to this strengthened alliance with France and the continuation of this exemplary technological cooperation. GIFAS is undeniably fulfilling its mission of supporting the French aerospace industry in India. In India, we see ourselves as an incubator for start-ups in the aeronautics industry looking to develop business in India, whether by setting up new facilities, forging partnerships or growing their market share. The fact that this great democracy is in an active phase of consultations for the renewal of its aeronautical and defence equipment validates our analysis. The fact that France is totally willing to play by the rules of 'Make in India' is definitely a plus. As President Emmanuel Macron said during his state visit, addressing India's younger generation: "Just do it!" This is the mindset of GIFAS with respect to future enhanced cooperation between our two great nations. Interview by Emmanuel Huberdeau ■


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