New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Russia, on Tuesday, addressed the India Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference in Moscow and said India has undertaken significant economic reforms to improve the ease of doing business and opening up the economy for investments.

“We have undertaken significant economic reforms to improve the ease of doing business and opening up the economy for investments. Our government under the leadership of PM Modi has opened defence sector manufacturing to a great extent for foreign participation,” Rajnath said in the conference.

Saying that his country is ready to explore opportunities and co-production of high-end defence equipment with Russia, Singh said that the collaboration will help to modernise the defence platforms.

“India is ready to explore opportunities and co-production of high-end defence equipment with Russia. We want collaboration with you to modernise our defence platforms by advanced and emerging technology,” he added.

He said that Indian MSMEs seek footholds in the global supply chains with support from Russian and other foreign companies.  “I invite you to leverage from advantages in India such as low wage and availability of technical manpower,” he added.

He further informed that his ministry will soon share with the Russian Side the list of spares and items, proposed to be manufactured in India. “I hope that the Russian Side will identify the OEMs in the next few months who can partner in the production of these spares,” he added.

He said both the countries can jointly manufacture defence equipment and platform which will have the substantial opportunities for exports to third countries.

“Government of India is encouraging Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to partner with Indian entities making use of the initiative. We call for industrial cooperation for co-production with Russian companies of new platforms and equipment,’ he added.