US aircraft maker Boeing is in talks with the government to set up an aircraft manufacturing base in the country. Once set up, it would be part of the 'Make in India' programme, under which the government wants companies to not only manufacture for India but export as well.
Senior Boeing executives have held a series of meetings with commerce ministry officials in the last two months, government sources told HT. "Boeing has not revealed their investment figure so far but they want to set up a manufacturing base in the country. We have asked them to come up with a specific plan before they put in a formal application."
A formal announcement is likely to be made during US President Barack Obama's visit to India next month, sources said.
Seattle-based Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defence, space and security systems.
"Boeing continues to work with suppliers in India in not only manufacturing but the company has invested significantly in equipment, training, tooling and quality systems with partner companies," a Boeing spokesperson said. "They are now integrated into Boeing's global supply chain. Partnerships will be important to how we go forward, and selectively we may look at equity partnerships."
Sources said Boeing is evaluating equity partnership opportunities in India. "We had set up a factory with TAL (a Tata enterprise) in Nagpur where composite floor beams for the Boeing 787-9 are produced," a senior Boeing official told HT.
India, currently ranked ninth, is set to become the third-largest aviation market in the world in the next five years. About 600 business jets and small aircraft and 250 helicopters are likely to be added in the next 5 years.