Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday addressed top diplomats of over 80 countries showcasing India as a major exporter of defence equipment.
The Ministry of Defence organised the Ambassadors’ Round Table conference with aim to brief missions on the upcoming DefExpo 2020.
The Round Table was aimed at briefing the representatives of foreign missions based in New Delhi about the arrangements being made for DefEpo and elicit suggestions from them to further improve the experience.
“Heads of Missions and Defence Attaches of over 80 countries participated in the conference indicating the growing stature of the 11th mega biennial event, to be held in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow from February 5-8, 2020,” the Ministry of Defence said.
Addressing the conference, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the event will not only provide countries with the opportunity to showcase their equipment and platforms, but also be able to explore the strengths and capabilities of India’s defence industry for meeting operational goals.
“DefExpo is an opportunity to foster partnerships and be part of shared prosperity. These strong ties can boost investment, expand manufacturing, raise the level of technology and accelerate economic growth of our respective countries,” Rajnath Singh said.
Rajnath Singh stressed that India’s defence sector has matured and is exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with friendly countries to set up industries in India and abroad.
He said the DefExpo 2020 will showcase the government’s intent to achieve a turnover of $26 billion in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025.
Rajnath Singh added that the event will showcase India’s plans for Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where investment commitments of about $1 billion have already been received.
More than 100 business events and seminars are being planned with over 1,000 exhibitors expected at the mega event.
Rajnath Singh also urged the ambassadors to impress upon the leaders of their respective defence industries to participate in DefExpo 2020 so as to “dive deep into the strategic and business opportunities available and to establish strategic partnerships”.
He also listed out various policy reforms in critical areas, including simplifying industrial licensing process and hike of Foreign Direct Investment cap to 49 per cent.
Due to the policy reforms undertaken by the government, defence production in both public and private sectors reached a record volume of Rs 80,502 crore in 2018-19. Rajnath Singh set the target of Rs 90,000 crore for 2019-20.
“We have achieved an export turnover of around Rs 10,700 crore in 2018-19, with the target of this year pegged at Rs 15,000 crore,” Rajnath Singh added.