Words and the meaning behind them – Israel and the Indian market

To an “innocent bystander”, the words Joseph Weiss – president and chief executive of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI )  - said yesterday at Aero India 2013 may be considered a standard speech.

The fact is that every word was selected and weighted carefully.

After some nice words of pride for the performance of IAI in the Indian market, the company’s president went on to more meaningful words.

He said: “All Israeli industries operating in the Indian defense market are in stiff competition with global and leading international powers. Despite competition, many Israeli systems operate in all arms of the Indian army.

“These systems use leading technologies, allowing us to enter joint ventures with Indian arms and research institutes. The basis for today’s special relationship is the close professional and personal connection existing between leading Israel Ministry of Defense officials and top defense industries.”

He added: “I urge my colleagues in the Israeli industries to make every effort to promote cooperation. Yet when we do compete, I call for dignity and collegiality. I can assure you that we at IAI will do so.”

To explain what is behind these words – India has become one of the major markets for the Israeli aerospace and defense industries, with IAI leading the pack. But what until some years ago could be considered a “captive market” is far from that now.

American and European companies have stormed the Indian market in recent years, and the competition is strong on every tender issued by the Indian government.

In addition, India has put some new demands on offset agreements – and this of course has also made the competition between Israeli companies fiercer than ever.

So the words of the president of Israel’s major aerospace defence contractor were directed toward specific ears – expressing hope that all Israeli companies involved will understand the new rules of the game.

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