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ISRO seeks more foreign investment in India’s space industry

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is making efforts to bring in more foreign investments into India’s space industry. The national space agency’s Chairman S Somanath announced that a policy governing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector will be released soon. This move is part of India’s plan to liberalize the FDI policy for the space sector and attract global investors in satellite communications.

The Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), in collaboration with IN-SPACe, the communications ministry, and the Department of Space (DoS), is working to finalize the new FDI rules. These rules will permit up to 74% overseas ownership through the automatic route and up to 100% through the government route.

Earlier this year, India released its space policy, allowing private satellite operators to launch broadband-from-space services. However, the policy did not address FDI rules for private operators. The inclusion of FDI rules for private operators has been a longstanding demand from larger satellite players and startups.

The Chairman emphasized that India aims to facilitate the entry of private companies and non-governmental entities (NGEs) into the space sector. The goal is to enable these entities to participate in various aspects of the space industry, including rocket and satellite manufacturing, ground segment operations, and application development. India seeks partnerships with global operators, technology providers, and business systems to expand the footprint of space activities in the country and capture a significant market worldwide.

During the ‘Indian Space Conclave 2023’, ISRO’s umbrella organization, the Indian Space Association (ISpA), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GIFAS, the French Aerospace Industries Association. The MoU aims to enhance the understanding of space industry capabilities and explore business opportunities between France and India.

Somanath acknowledged that the space industry is demanding, with numerous challenges and rapid technological advancements. However, he stated that these challenges make the sector exciting and full of potential for growth and innovation. TS2

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