TOULOUSE: Make in India – the overarching theme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to France and Europe, got a ringing endorsement from French aerospace giant Airbus pledging to make more in India and scaling up it’s outsourcing from the world’s fastest growing economy from $400 million to $ 2 billion over the next five years
After sparking a wave of jubilation across French political and business leadership with his announcement of buying 36 Rafale jets from France, Mr Modi travelled to Toulouse, the hub of the French Aerospace industry. Mr Modi looked genuinely thrilled while touring the production line of Airbus A380 as he seeks to rope in France to fructify his Make in India campaign.
“Amazing visit to @Airbus Facility. They are very enthusiastic about @makeinindia initiative,” the prime minister tweeted.
The enthusiasm was reciprocal. Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders struck an upbeat note about forging robust industrial bonds with India. “We are honoured to host Prime Minister Modi in Toulouse and convey to him our desire to forge a stronger industrial bond with India. India already takes a centre-stage role in our international activities and we want to even increase its contribution to our products,” said Mr Modi.
“We support Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ call and (we) are ready to manufacture in India, for India and the world,” he added.
In India, Airbus Group already operates two engineering centres — one focused on civil aviation and the other one defence. The aircraft manufacturer also operates a research and technology (R&T) centre – put together, the Airbus facilities in India employs over 400 highly qualified people.
The group’s senior representative conveyed their decision to expand these centres so that they can take on comprehensive design responsibilities for future Airbus group programmes.
Besides Mr Enders, Mr Modi was accompanied by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, and the boss of its civil aviation subsidiary, Fabrice Bregier, during his three-hour swing at the Airbus facility. The prime minister met around 15 Indian suppliers, engineering students and dozens of Toulouse-based Indian employees.
“India offers very important prospects … The fact the prime minister is here and that relations are excellent is very positive,” said Mr Fabius. “Economic diplomacy works: the Rafale order shows this,” he stressed.
The Airbus said “its purchases from India totaled some US$400 million (€377 million) each year, supporting some 5,000 jobs in the country.”
Airbus conveyed to the prime minister it’s plans to set up final assembly lines and establish supply chains and related infrastructure for military transport aircraft and helicopters in the country.
“Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry (MEA) tweeted: “500% increase in 5 years. @Airbus to PMA @narendramodi : Indian outsourcing to increase from $400 mil to $2 billion.”
“Make in India gains further momentum. $2 billion cumulative outsourcing planned by @Airbus from India by 2020,” said another tweet.
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