Modi invites defence investors to bet on India, which he said will give them big returns and make India self reliant
The five-day DefExpo 2020 would see the UP govt sign 23 preliminary pacts, which are expected to bring ₹50,000 cr investment and create more than 3 lakh jobs, defence minister Rajnath Singh says
NEW DELHI :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday set a target of $5 billion in defence exports in next five years for India as he invited private businesses to invest in the country, which he said would realize the twin objectives of handsome returns on investment and making Asia’s third largest economy self reliant in defence manufacturing.
India’s ambition to develop a defence industrial base was neither a threat nor directed against any country, Modi said at the inauguration of the 11th Defence Expo in Lucknow.
The five-day DefExpo 2020 would see the Uttar Pradesh government sign 23 preliminary pacts, which are expected to bring ₹50,000 crore investment and create more than 300,000 jobs, defence minister Rajnath Singh said at the biennial event that has this time brought together more than 1,000 companies and delegations from over 40 countries.
Modi and Singh outlined the many policy changes introduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government since 2014 to transform India into a defence manufacturing hub. India was in 2019 the world’s second largest importer of defence hardware after Saudi Arabia, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. However, a country of India’s size cannot entirely depend on imports, Modi said.
The number of defence licences issued has risen from 210 in 2014 to 460 now, At present, India is building several pieces of defence equipment such as artillery guns, aircraft carriers, submarines, light-combat aircraft and combat helicopters, he said.
“India has limitless possibilities in defence manufacturing. India has talent and technology, innovation and infrastructure, a favourable policy framework as well as a guarantee on investment, demand, democracy and decisiveness (in decision making)" Modi said.
“I invite all of you, the defence investors and entrepreneurs of the world. Your investment in India will give you big returns as well as help India to become self reliant," he said.
“Our mantra is Make in India, for India, for the world. In 2014, the export of defence equipment from India was about ₹2,000 crore. In the last two years, it has gone up to ₹17,000 crore. In the next five years, our target is export of $5 billion, which is about ₹35,000 crore," Modi said. He cited the misuse of technology and terrorism, as well as the cyber threat as challenges that the world faces. Globally, defence forces are eyeing new technology given the evolution of threats and the emergence of new ones.
The Prime Minister said the two defence industrial corridors, one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttra Pradesh, that he had inaugurated during his first term in office would help the growth of medium and small scale industries in their vicinity. These in turn would result in employment generation for the youth. “In the next five years, we aim to attract ₹20,000 crore of investment (for both these corridors)," he said.
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