New Delhi, Feb 4 ;
India’s capabilities in land, naval and security systems and its emergence as an “attractive destination” for investment in the defence sector will be showcased at the Defexpo India starting Feb 6.
Considered one of Asia’s biggest land and maritime shows, the Defexpo is taking place at a time when the government has revised defence procurement procedure to make “buy Indian” and “buy and make Indian” preferred categories over “buy and make with transfer of technology”.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony will inaugurate the expo Feb 6.
“The level of participation has been very good. The show has generated a lot of interest from exhibitors,” said Secretary (Defence Production) G.C. Pati.
He said 256 Indian and 368 foreign companies would take part in the event. There will be 511 delegates from 52 countries.
On a query, Pati said India has not set any specific export targets but companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were seeking to penetrate foreign markets through some of their products.
Answering another query, he said China was not invited for the event.
Officials said classification of Indian companies was made more strict by excluding subsidiaries of foreign companies. That was the reason why the number of Indian companies taking part came down to 256 from 335 in 2012.
They said the exhibition would facilitate partnerships between India and international manufacturers to meet the country’s growing defence needs.
India is counted among the largest arms importers in the world.
The officials said the 30 countries in the exhibition include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Britain, Ukraine and the US.
There are 12 country pavilions from France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Britain and the US.
Officials said the net area sold during this edition was expected to be more than 27,700 square meters. It was 27,150 square metres during Defexpo 2012.
They said “B2B meetings” introduced during Defexpo 2012 would also be arranged on a bigger scale.
“B2B meetings are going to be very important in enhancing the capabilities of Indian defence industry as it would allow them to forge alliances with global players to increase domestic production,” an official said.
He said the event provides “an excellent opportunity” to Indian defence public sector undertakings and to the private sector to demonstrate their capability to design, develop and deliver military and civil products.
The officials said the Defexpo, now in its eighth edition, has maintained a path of sustained growth and the biennial event will showcase land, naval, and internal security systems.
Officials said the defence production policy 2011 aims at achieving substantial self-reliance in the design, development and production of equipment, weapon systems and platforms required for defence in as early a time frame as possible.
They said the largest domestic exhibitor would be the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which would be displaying a vast range of equipment and products including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).