Today, on the first day of his official visit to Seoul, Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar began the day at a solemn ceremony to pay homage to martyrs of Korea’s independence movement and the Korean War at the National Cemetery. He also recalled the role of the Indian Army in providing medical assistance and repatriation of prisoners during the War.
Later in the day, Defence Minister visited Korea’s ninth largest corporation, Hanwha. In its 63 year history, this firm has become a Korean leader in ordnance, fuzes, precision guided systems, sensors and aerospace. In the detailed site visit facilitated by Hanwha President Shim, RM invited Hanwha to participate in the Make in India programme, taking into account the enormous opportunities for mutually beneficial business.
Later in the evening, in Seoul, Shri Manohar Parrikar addressed an India-Korea Defence Industry Forum arranged by the Embassy in association with the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ICCK). Senior representatives of 10 Indian defence firms interacted with senior representatives of the Korean Defence Acquisition and Program Administration (DAPA), Korean Defence Industries Association, and over 15 leading Korean defence industries. Defence Minister highlighted that the defence industry in India would be likely to see $250 bn worth of business over the next decade as India modernized its defence systems and industries. After outlining the policy changes being brought forward by the Government of Prime Minister Modi to facilitate investment in the defence sector, Shri Manohar Parrikar said that the time had come for Korean defence firms to take advantage of the high brand value enjoyed by Korean-made produts in India, and to enter the defence market as partners for the long-term. In the presentations, it was also noted that the ongoing internal process of further streamlining India’s defence procurement policies would be completed in less than three months.
After presentations by Defence Minister and his delegation, detailed presentations were made regarding business opportunities for Korean defence firms by senior management of Indian defence firms including Goa Shipyards Ltd., Bharat Electronics Ltd., Mahindra Defence, L&T Ltd. and Tata Power SED.
Finally, Shri Parrikar met the top management of Hyundai Heavy Industries and invited them to become strategic partners for India’s defence and commercial shipping sectors.
On 17 April, Shri Manohar Parrikar will co-chair the India-RoK Defence Ministerial meeting with his Korean counterpart, Gen. Han Min-Koo. Defence Minister will also meet the RoK Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Minister of DAPA and the NSA of the RoK, Gen Kim Kwan-Jin.
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