Modi says India has set a target of reaching $ 5 billion in defence exports in coming years
Gandhinagar, October 19, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India's defence exports had grown eight times in the last five years and the country had set a target of reaching $ 5 billion in exports in the coming years.
"In the defence sector, new India is moving ahead with the mantra of Intent, Innovation and Implementation," he said in his inaugural address at DefExpo 22 at the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre here.
Modi said that, till eight years ago, India was known as the world's largest defence importer.
"But New India showed intent, showed willpower and 'Make in India’ is becoming a success story in the defence sector today," he said.
He said India was now exporting defence materials and equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22, defence exports from India reached $1.59 billion, about Rs 13,000 crore.
Earlier, at the India Pavilion, the Prime Minister unveiled HTT-40, the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
He also launched Mission DefSpace and laid the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield in Gujarat.
The Prime Minister said the world was relying on India's technology today because India's armed forces have proved their capabilities.
"The Indian Navy has inducted state-of-the-art aircraft carriers like the INS-Vikrant into its fleet. This engineering giant and colossal masterpiece has been made by Cochin Shipyard Limited with indigenous technology. The induction of the Prachand Light Combat Helicopters developed under the ‘Make in India’ initiative by Indian Air Force is a clear example of India’s defence capability," he said.
Speaking about the efforts to make India's defence sector self-reliant, the Prime Minister said the forces had also finalised two lists of equipment which would be procured only within the country. The third list of 101 such items is being released today, he said.
"These decisions also show the potential of a self-reliant India. After the list, there will be 411 such equipment and equipment of the defence sector, which will only be bought under the “Make in India’," he said.
The Prime Minister informed that such a huge budget would strengthen the foundation of Indian companies and take them to new heights. He further added that it will be the youth of the nation that will benefit the most from it.
He said that reliable options were now mushrooming to replace the monopoly that a few companies had created in the field of defence supply. “The youth of India has shown the power to break this monopoly in the defence industry and this effort of our youth is for the global good,” he said.
He said the small countries of the world, which were left behind in their security due to lack of resources, would now reap great benefits from this.
“India sees the defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities, as positive possibilities," Modi said, speaking on investment opportunities in the defence sector.
He told the gathering that India is building two defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and many big companies of the world are coming to invest in India. He also highlighted the might of the MSMEs in the sector and said that these big companies would be supported by Indian 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.
The Prime Minister called upon all the companies present at the exhibition to give shape to these opportunities keeping the India of the future at the centre. “You innovate, take a pledge to be the best in the world, and give shape to the dream of a strong developed India. You will always find me there supporting you," he said.
Modi pointed out that this was the first edition of the DefExpo in which only Indian companies are participating only Made in India equipment are on display.
The event has more than 1,300 exhibitors which include Indian defence companies, joint ventures, MSMEs and more than 100 startups. More than 400 MoUs are slated to be signed at the event, the highest so far.
The second India-Africa Defence Dialogue will take place on the sidelines of the exhibition.
"This relationship between India and Africa is based on time-tested trust that is further deepening and touching new dimensions with the passing of time," he said.
The 2nd Indian Ocean Region+ (IOR+) Conclave will also be held during the Expo, which will provide a stage for a comprehensive dialogue to promote defence cooperation amongst IOR+ nations to foster peace, growth, stability and prosperity, in line with the Prime Minister's vision for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
“Today, from international security to global trade, maritime security has emerged as a global priority. The role of the merchant navy has also expanded in the era of globalisation," Modi said.
“The world's expectations from India have increased, and I assure the world community that India will fulfil them. Therefore, this Defence Expo is also a symbol of global trust towards India," he said.
He said Gujarat would emerge as a major centre for the defence industry in the coming days.
The Prime Minister said the forward Air Force base at Deesa would add to the security architecture of the country. He said India is now better prepared for responding to any misadventure on its western borders.
“Space technology is an example of what security will mean for any strong nation in the future. Various challenges in this area have been reviewed and identified by the three services. We have to work fast to solve them," he said.
"Mission Defence Space will not only encourage innovation and strengthen our forces but also provide new and innovative solutions," he said.
The Prime Minister said space technology is shaping new definitions of India's generous space diplomacy, giving rise to new possibilities. “Many African countries and many other small countries are benefiting from this,” he added.
He said there are more than 60 developing countries with whom India is sharing its space science. “The South Asia satellite is an effective example of this. By next year, ten ASEAN countries will also get real-time access to India's satellite data. Even developed countries like Europe and America are using our satellite data," he added.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, 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 Ajay Kumar were among those present on the occasion.