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India’s active role on global stage attracts deeper partnerships in defence, aviation, & space: Airbus CEO | GBS

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India’s active role on global stage attracts deeper partnerships in defence, aviation, & space: Airbus CEO | GBS

In the dynamic landscape of global geopolitics and economic intricacies, India has evolved from a passive observer to an active participant, notably in global affairs and partnerships. Michael Schoellhorn, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, talked about this partnership at the ET Now Global Business Summit 2024 in a session titled “Leveraging Global Partnerships and Programmes for India’s Defence Sector.”

It was an exemplary testament to this transformative role in the enduring collaboration between India and Airbus, a partnership marked by technological advancements and strategic significance.

Highlighting Airbus’s commitment, Schoellhorn said, “Over the past six decades, Airbus has played a pivotal role in advancing technology in the civil aviation sector. India, with its rapidly expanding market and strategic significance as a resource hub, has become a focal point for Airbus.”

The discussion delved into Airbus’s deepening collaboration, particularly the significant joint venture with Air India and the C295 project, “The procurement value has soared from 750 million to 1.5 billion, reflecting the deepening collaboration between India and Airbus. A significant milestone was achieved last year with the establishment of a 50-50 joint venture with AirIndia,” he said.

He further said, “Underlining Airbus’s commitment to India, the company has embraced the ethos of ‘Make in India’, ‘Design in India’, ‘Innovate in India’, and ‘Skill in India’. The C295 project exemplifies this commitment, with 16 aircraft to be delivered from Spain. This venture is expected to create 15,000 jobs, including 10,000 for small companies, thereby contributing to India’s economic growth and technological advancement.”

Addressing that their businesses centres around “Make In India,” contributing to India’s industrial ecosystem, Schoellhorn delved into Airbus’s exploration of deeper collaborations, particularly in the modern industrialisation of the Indian armed forces, envisioning possibilities in connectivity and modern warfare.

In the evolving geopolitical landscape, Schoellhorn emphasised India’s active role in global politics and the economy, citing significant developments in Ukraine and the Middle East. He underlined the necessity of trustworthy and reliable partners, spotlighting the enduring relationship between India and Airbus that spans over 60 years. The CEO celebrated India’s prominence as a fast-growing market and a strategic resource hub, exemplified by the noteworthy increase in procurement value from 750 million to 1.5 billion.

The collaborative journey with Air India reached a significant milestone with a 50-50 joint venture, embodying Airbus’s commitment to making, designing, innovating, and skilling in India.

Space emerged as a pivotal sector, with Airbus poised to unleash India’s true potential through long standing collaborations, including partnerships with Israel. He highlighted, “We at Airbus have a long collaboration with Israel. We have built satellites in India. We have used our own satellites. Airbus has put a majority of Indian INSEAD in orbit.”

Schoellhorn spotlighted the impactful C295 project, set to deliver 16 aircraft from Spain, generating 15,000 jobs, including 10,000 for small companies. In his insightful remarks, Schoellhorn painted a vivid picture of Airbus’s unwavering dedication to India’s growth, technological advancement, and a prosperous future.

In conclusion, Schoellhorn highlighted the paramount importance of India’s perspectives and opinions, emphasising Airbus’s deep affinities and ties with the country, saying, “Make in India is at the heart of our business strategy for an Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

This declaration solidifies Airbus’s commitment to fostering indigenous manufacturing capabilities and contributing to India’s journey towards self-sufficiency.

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