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Swedish company eyes aircraft plant in India

The possibility of setting up a light aircraft manufacturing facility was discussed in a meeting between Saab AB chairman and science and technology minister.

business Updated: Nov 05, 2017 08:46 IST
Tarun Shukla
Marcus Wallenberg
Marcus Wallenberg (HT Photo)

Swedish firm Saab AB’s chairman Marcus Wallenberg met Indian government officials this week to explore the possibility of expanding aerospace collaboration, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Wallenberg met science and technology minister YS Chowdary and Andhra Pradesh officials earlier this week, along with a delegation of Swedish officials, the person mentioned above said, declining to be named.

The talks included leveraging Sweden’s strengths in high technology areas such as aerospace, as also food processing, in Andhra Pradesh, said a second person aware of the matter .

The possibility of setting up a light aircraft manufacturing facility was discussed at the meeting, the first person cited above said. Aerospace manufacturing has seen steady growth in Hyderabad in the past few years with the Tata group making parts for Boeing and Lockheed Martin, among others, on the city’s outskirts, besides dozens of other small and medium enterprises related to the sector that are operating in and around the city.

It was not clear how far the talks have reached. Most firms typically win orders from the Indian armed forces and source parts from India as part of the outsourcing mandate given by the government.

Science and technology minister Chowdary confirmed the meeting but declined to “get into details”.

Saab is one of the two firms in the race for India’s next multi-billion-dollar fighter jet order.