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Portugal eyes defence aviation & shipbuilding partnership with India: Portuguese Defence Minister

“Portugal has a vibrant defence industry and we are looking to partner India under the Make in India program," defence minister said.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 22, 2019, 10.27 AM IST
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In 2017, during PM Costa’s visit the two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation
NEW DELHI: India and Portugal are exploring possibility of joint defence cooperation in the field of aviation including support and maintenance of Embraer aircraft and shipbuilding.

“Portugal has a vibrant defence industry and we are looking to partner India under the Make in India program. Portugal specialises in non-lethal dual use items. We have unit of Embraer in Portugal and India has Embraer in its fleet. Portugal would be willing to assist India’s set of Embraer on Indian territory,” Portuguese Defence Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho told ET in an exclusive chat during his visit to India last week.

Cravinho who had earlier served as EU’s envoy to India and member of Indian PM Antonio Costa’s party also identified ship building as another area of potential cooperation. Besides Portugal is also ready to assist Indian armed forces with state of art clothing that uses nano-technology, the visiting Minister informed.

“Portuguese defence companies are keen to enter into JVs with their Indian counterparts. Portuguese defence firms are making their mark in international markets. You will be surprised to know that defence exports in aviation sector have overtaken Portuguese wine exports,” the Minister informed.

Cravinho was on an official visit to India to meet with his counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman, in order to strengthen defence cooperation, particularly in the fields of training and industry.

The visit began with an homage at the National War Memorial followed by the meeting with the Indian counterpart and ended with a meeting with the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.

In 2017, during PM Costa’s visit the two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation which envisaged their intention to hold high-level meetings, naval exercises, establishment of exchanges in training and research as well as holding talks on matters relating to international security and Defence Industries.

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