New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) India and South Korea on Friday signed an MoU for defence industry cooperation in shipbuilding, an official statement said.
The MoU, signed by India's Defence Production Secretary Ashok Kumar Gupta and South Korean Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration Minister Chang Myoung-Jin, focuses on developing and strengthening defence industry co-operation between the two countries, which will recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects.
The organisations recommended for co-operative projects may conclude separate agreements (contracts) between them to implement the specific projects, the statement said, adding the MoU will also help the Indian government's 'Make in India' initiative.
The MoU will come into effect from the date of signature by both sides and will be initially valid for a period of five years and would be automatically extendable for further successive five years at a time.
It was conceived under the overall umbrella of the 'Special Strategic Partnership' between both sides as declared in the Joint Statement of the Prime Minister of India and the President of South Korea in May 2015.
To substantiate the 'Special Strategic Partnership', the two sides had agreed to encourage greater co-operation between their shipyards in the defence sector and it was accordingly decided to sign this MoU.
The Cabinet Committee on Security had accorded its approval for the MoU and also nominated Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam from the Indian side for the collaboration.
South Korea will indicate the name of its recommended organisation for the collaboration in due course of time.
"The co-operation with the recommended Korean shipyard would enable HSL to upgrade and modernise its facilities and execute naval shipbuilding projects in a timely and cost effective manner. HSL would be able to imbibe best practices in shipbuilding leading to effective project management.
"As a result of the proposed partnership, the production of HSL is expected to grow substantially, leading to creation of more employment avenues. Further, in consultation with the recommended Korean partner, it is planned to identify and develop indigenous sources/vendors for the supply of majority of the material and equipment that would be needed in co-operative naval projects, thus paving the way for the development of ancillary industry /maritime cluster in the region," the statement added.