Raksha Mantri & his UK counterpart co-chair UK-India Defence Industry CEOs Roundtable in London

On the second and final day of his visit to the United Kingdom, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh interacted with top UK Defence industry leaders and CEOs at an event in Trinity House, London on January 10, 2024. The UK-India Defence Industry CEOs Roundtable, co-chaired by Shri Rajnath Singh with his UK counterpart Mr Grant Shapps was attended by a large number of CEOs from UK defence industry; UK MoD officials; Chair, UK India Business Council; and CII India representatives. Some of the major companies represented were BAE Systems, GE Vernova, James Fisher Defence, Leonardo S.p.A., Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd, SAAB UK, Thales UK, Ultra-Maritime Rolls-Royce, ADS Group, and MBDA UK.

The meeting was also attended by UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Mr James Cartildge. The Roundtable included thematic discussions on strengthening the India-UK defence industrial relationship.

In the meeting, the Raksha Mantri welcomed the investment and technology collaboration from the UK, and stated that India is ready with skilled human resource base, a robust pro-FDI and pro-business ecosystem, and a huge domestic market.

Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India is surging ahead on the path of becoming a developed economy by 2047. The ambition is backed by a clear headed roadmap to chart the course, and is backed by the collective will-power of 1.4 billion Indians to stay the course.

Highlighting the importance of the India-UK ties, the Raksha Mantri said there is a symbiotic relationship between the two countries and the Government of India envisions an enriching partnership with UK to cooperate, co-create and co-innovate. “By synergising the strengths of our nations, we can do great things together,” he said.

Mr Grant Shapps agreed with the statement of Shri Rajnath Singh regarding the symbiotic relationship between India and UK. Mr Grant Shapps further stated that the ties transcend the normal buyer-seller relationship and is fundamentally a strategic partnership.

The industry leaders from UK outlined their current and future plans for India. Aero-engines, Electric Propulsion, missiles, power-packs, and maritime systems were identified as some of the focus areas of joint work. The Raksha Mantri noted the positivity and enthusiasm of UK CEOs & business leaders on working in India and with the Indian companies.

On January 09, Shri Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with Mr Grant Shapps. Emphasis was on enhancing defence industrial cooperation between the two countries. The bilateral meeting was followed by the signing of two agreements between India and UK – an MoU on conduct of bilateral international cadet exchange programme, and a Letter of Arrangement between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) on defence collaboration in research and development.

The Raksha Mantri also paid floral tributes to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at his statue at Tavistock Square. He also visited the Ambedkar House in London and paid tributes to Dr BR Ambedkar. The Ambedkar House was the home of Dr. BR Ambedkar, who lived there between 1921 and 1922 while he was pursuing a degree in Economics at London School of Economics, and a degree in Law at Gray’s Inn. The Raksha Mantri, while paying tributes to Dr Ambedkar, noted in the Visitor’s Book message that it is a great experience to visit the memorial of the creator of venerable Constitution of India, the guiding light of our Republic.

Shri Rajnath Singh also visited the Sri Swaminarayan temple at Neasden and paid his respects.

The Raksha Mantri is scheduled to meet UK PM Mr Rishi Sunak, and the UK Foreign Secretary (Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs) Mr David Cameron later today.