The State Government has signed an agreement with an Indian business peak body to encourage collaboration with South Australia’s defence sector.
The agreement was signed this week during a visit to India by a South Australian trade delegation.
Minister for Trade and Investment Martin Hamilton-Smith said the MOU would make Defence SA and the Defence Teaming Centre the key points of contact with the Confederation of Indian Industry, which represents more than 7900 private and public sector members.
This week’s delegation to India included a range of defence companies, as well as South Australia’s special envoy for trade and investment, former defence force chief Sir Angus Houston, and Defence Teaming Centre CEO Chris Burns.
Hamilton-Smith said the MOU would support local companies seeking opportunities in India in the areas of defence, aerospace and advanced manufacturing.
“South Australian defence companies including delegates Nova Systems, SAGE Automation and AU Space Services will benefit from a strategic advantage to attract investment, export products and services and drive jobs growth,” he said.
The MOU comes a year after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi signed off an a new Framework for Security Cooperation.
In their 2014 talks, the pair decided to extend defence cooperation between the two countries to cover research, development and industry engagement.
Burns said today that this week’s delegation had seen a new approach to defence industries in India.
“It is evident from the current South Australian trade mission that there has been a fundamental shift in the Indian Government’s approach to its defence industry,” he said.
“The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is timely in that it allows South Australia’s defence industry to collaborate through the auspices of the Defence Teaming Centre and the Confederation of Indian Industry to pursue mutually beneficial opportunities.
“The Indian Government’s demonstrated commitment to supporting and reading the national benefits of a viable defence industry is a lesson the Australian Government should well pay heed to and try to emulate.”
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