March 13, 2011
Time: 5:30PM IST
A defense delegation from the Slovak Republic was recently in Delhi to tap opportunities in trade (import/export), joint ventures, technology transfer, investment and development,. It specifically identified areas of cooperation in the domain of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The Slovak Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, OECD and WTO with one of the fastest growth rates in the EU with a GDP of $121.3 billion (2010).
Ľubomír Galko minister of defense spoke exclusively to Aerospacediary outlining his mission. Excerpts:
What are the projects in defense you are looking at?
MoD- India is the world’s largest democracy and the importance of India, as well as the importance of Asia is significantly increasing. The 21st century is the Asia century. Therefore it is natural, that Slovakia has an enormous interest in extensive cooperation with India. We would like to follow the cooperation which started between our countries already in the times of former Czechoslovakia. There are some successful examples from the past, when India imported defense equipment, produced in Slovakia. I strongly believe that the Slovak defense industry could achieve success on the India market.
Is Slovak defense industry taking part in any Indian defense bids?
MoD-Yes, it is. Given the fact that one of the tenders is currently running, I am not going to specify details at this moment.
What are your strengths in defense you can share with India?
MoD- I will be glad to offer to my partner at the Indian Ministry of Defense, cooperation in several areas. The emphasis is put especially on cooperation in defense industry, mainly in the modernization and maintenance of military equipment, training and education, as well as in defense policy. We are interested in extensive and comprehensive cooperation, based on the friendly mutual relations and positive experience from the past.
Galko met up with members of the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME). Slovak companies looking at doing business with India included Kerametal producing Light wheeled armored vehicles, Aircraft haulers, vehicles for combat and transport, compact artillery systems and remote operated vehicle for booby trap disposal.
Kerametal is also into Refractory materials, Aluminum powder, used for several applications such as manufacture of slurry, explosive and detonators, and industrial minerals.
Another defense company accompanying the delegation was KONŠTRUKTA – Defense involved with research, development and testing of the ground and air weapons systems, ammunition, command and control systems, electronic systems and platforms for wheeled and tracked vehicles.
Small and medium entrepreneur, P. Arun Kumar, regional manager at SASMOS that makes wiring harnesses for land defense, says: Slovakia is looking for partners in India. We are looking at becoming an offset partner with them,”
The company is in advanced stage of negotiations with Thales for two programs that encompass manufacture in India, Kumar says.