Source : Business Today
|PM Modi inaugurates DefExpo 2022, lays the foundation of Deesa airfield|
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the defence expo, DefExpo 2022, at the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar. Apart from launching the Mission DefSpace, and laying foundation of the Deesa airfield, PM Modi also unveiled the HTT-40 indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. He said that the defence expo is a symbol of the global trust in India.
“This is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment,” he added. PM Modi said that DefExpo 2022 paints a picture of “New India” and its capabilities.
The expo has more than 1,300 exhibitors, including India Defence Industry, joint ventures associated with Indian Defence Industry, MSMEs and more than 100 startups. PM Modi added that more than 400 MoUs are being signed at the expo.
The expo is being attended by 53 friendly countries from Africa. The second India-Africa Defence Dialogue, and the 2nd Indian Ocean Region+ (IOR+) Conclave. The Indian Ocean Region conclave will provide a stage to promote defence cooperation between these nations and foster peace, growth, stability and prosperity.
PM Modi also acknowledged Gujarat’s identity with regard to development and industrial capabilities, and that the state will emerge as a major centre of the defence industry in the coming days.
While laying the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield, PM Modi said that the airforce base will add to the security architecture of the country. As Deesa is close to the border, PM Modi said that India will now be better prepared to respond to any misadventure on the western borders. “This region will now become an effective centre of security of the country,” he said.
Speaking about the defence sector, PM Modi said that India is moving ahead with the mantra of “intent, innovation and implementation”. India was the largest importer till eight years ago but things have changed now. Now defence exports have grown eight times in the last five years.
“We are exporting defence materials and equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22 defence exports from India reached $1.59 billion i.e. about Rs 13,000 crore. And in the coming time, we have set a target to reach $5 billion i.e. Rs 40,000 crore,” he added.
Highlighting India’s increasing self-reliance, the prime minister said that the defence forces have finalised two lists of equipment that would be procured only within the country. These lists consist of 101 items.
“India sees the defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities, as positive possibilities,” said PM Modi, adding that India is building two defence corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu. He also said that big global companies investing in India will be supported by MSMEs while creating a large network of supply chains behind this investment.
“Investments of such scale in this sector will generate huge employment opportunities for the youth in those areas which were not even thought of earlier,” the Prime Minister added, calling upon companies present at the expo to give shape to these opportunities.
Apart from PM Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Patel, Governor of Gujara, Acharya Devvrat, Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Pande, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, and Defence Secretary to Government of India, Dr Ajay Kumar were those present at the event.