Geographies in Depth

India is opening its space sector to foreign investment

India targets a bigger slice of the global space sector, estimated to reach $47.3 billion by 2032.

Space race ... India is aiming for a larger share of the global space sector, forecast to reach $47.3 billion by 2032. Image: Pexels/SpaceX

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India

  • India to allow full foreign ownership in satellite-component manufacturing and ease foreign investment rules for building satellites in India.
  • Government aims to increase India's share of the global space sector, projected to reach $47.3 billion by 2032.
  • The move is part of a more liberal space policy to attract investment from companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin.

India will allow 100% foreign direct investment in the manufacture of satellite systems without official approval and eased the rules for launch vehicles, a government statement said, aiming for a greater share of the global space market.

India's space ambitions got a boost when it became the first country to land a spacecraft near the unexplored south pole of the moon in August - and the fourth to achieve a soft landing - just days after a similar Russian mission failed.

The government said in a statement late on Wednesday that foreign companies could invest in the manufacture of components and systems or sub-systems for satellites up to 100% without approval.

Foreign firms planning to build satellites in India would not require government approval up to 74% of the investment; for investment in launch vehicles, investment could go up to 49% without such approval, the statement said.

India has privatised space launches and is aiming for a five-fold increase in its share of the global launch market, which some expect to be worth $47.3 billion by 2032. India currently accounts for about 2% of the space economy.

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The country hopes that liberalised rules for the space sector, long controlled by the government, will draw interest from Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, among others.

The foreign direct investment policy reform is expected to boost employment and will allow companies to set up manufacturing facilities in India, the government said in the statement.

"This will give India access to the latest tech advances and much-needed funds, not only from the country but from international investors too," said A.K. Bhatt, director general of the Indian Space Association.

Space-related India stocks such as Paras Defence and Space Technologies (PRAF.NS), MTAR Technologies (MTAR.NS), Taneja Aerospace and Aviation (TANE.BO), and Apollo Micro Systems (APLL.NS), climbed 2% to 5% on Thursday.

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