NEW DELHI: Boeing and Airbus will “at some stage have to consider” setting up final assembly lines in India, given the potential for air traffic growth in India, commerce minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. And, it is not due to the order for over 1,100 planes worth $140 billion at list price the two majors have won from Tata’s Air India, IndiGo and Akasa in last 11 months. But because India will continue to be the largest market for aircraft for the next 20-25 years.
“This 1,100 plus order is just the beginning (of aircraft orders from India). We will be talking to Airbus and Boeing (for setting up final assembly lines). A third original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that makes smaller planes has shown interest to make in India,” Goyal said.
Meanwhile, Goyal said talks are going on with many countries for bilateral investment treaties (BIT). Many BITs were cancelled in 2016 and those places are talking to India. Some don’t want this treaty now as it’s become “passe”. “India is a large investor now. As much as is invested from UK into India, is invested by India into the UK. The difference is that India no longer negotiates from a position of weakness but from a position of strength,” the minister said.