Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has travelled to India and Singapore to promote Australia’s world-class defence capabilities for export and strengthen regional defence industry relationships.
In India, the Minister has represented the Australian Government at the third annual Raisina Dialogue and discussed the region’s emerging security dynamics and will highlight Australian Defence innovation.
“Since its inception, the Raisina Dialogue has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and economics. It presents a unique opportunity to highlight the world-class capabilities of Australian defence companies to global government, business and industry leaders,” Minister Pyne said.
While in India, Minister Pyne also met with Indian Defence Minister Sitharaman to discuss opportunities for defence industry engagement; he also addressed the Indian National Defence College.
“Like Australia, India is investing in modernising its military and developing a stronger defence industrial base. As regional security partners, there is great value in sharing our experiences and exploring opportunities for cooperation,” he said.
“India is a significant security partner for Australia in the Indian Ocean and the broader Indo-Pacific region. This is reflected in the progress we have made in our bilateral defence relationship since the endorsement of the Framework for Security Cooperation in 2014.
“Our shared interests include maritime security, regional stability and countering terrorism.
“Australia recognises India’s increased engagement in the South East Asia region through the implementation of the Modi Government’s ‘Act East’ policy.
“India is making a significant investment in the capability of its defence forces and seeking to build its industrial base.
“This presents terrific export opportunities for Australian defence companies, such as Thales Australia, who are currently bidding to supply mine sweeping equipment to India that was developed in Australia, as well as F90 rifles to the Indian Army. If successful, and subject to export control requirements, this will lead to the creation of jobs at Thales Rydalmere and Lithgow,” Minister Pyne said.
Minister Pyne also announced for the first time India's participation in the forthcoming Exercise Pitch Black 2018.
In Singapore, the Minister met with Singaporean Foreign Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, and addressed the Singapore-based Australian Chamber of Commerce.
Minister Pyne also met senior representatives from Singapore Technology – Engineering, to discuss opportunities for Australian defence companies.
“Australia and Singapore are strengthening economic and security cooperation under our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Defence industry sits at the nexus of these two interests and I look forward to progressing our cooperation in this area,” Minister Pyne said.
Minister Pyne also met with around 20 of Australia's Asia-based Defence attaches and representatives posted to the Asia-region, to discuss their vital role in promoting Australian defence exports and international defence industry collaboration.
“Defence representatives attached to Australia’s regional diplomatic missions play a key role in supporting export outcomes for Australian defence industry. Their networks and insight are vital to gaining access to and successfully navigating regional defence markets,” Minister Pyne said.