Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has said that the huge participation of foreign countries and exhibitors in the DefExpo 2020, to be held at Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow from February 5-9, 2020, reflects India’s growing stature in the international arena where the world listens to it and powerful nations take pride in marching in step with New Delhi. Raksha Mantri was addressing a huge gathering of media persons at the Curtain Raiser event on the eve of the DefExpoin Lucknow today. He said the participation in such a large number is not merely a business endeavour, and that is the reason why every new edition of DefExpo breaks all its previous records.Raksha Mantri revealed that over a thousand companies from across the world are participating in the 11thedition of the biennial mega defence exhibition making it the biggest ever DefExpo to be held in India. He said that in magnitude and endeavour, the exhibition is unparalleled in recent times and will present a golden opportunity for interaction and brainstorming to innovators, manufacturers, market leaders, government and other stakeholders.Highlighting the special features of the DefExpo 2020, Raksha Mantri indicated that ‘India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave’ will be organised for the first time in which more than 30 African countries will participate. He also informed that Ministers from over 40 countries will take part in this edition of DefExpo, making it an important opportunity for countries to further strengthen defence ties with India.Emphasising that the aim of DefExpo is to make the nation stronger and prosperous, Shri Rajnath Singh said that the stature of India is growing because of the dynamic leadership and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the country now aspires to be the Economic Superpower in the world. He said the Government is working on making the country a Defence Manufacturing hub and has made sincere efforts in promoting indigenous manufacturing in the defence sector through initiatives like ‘Make in India’.
Stressing that a large country like India cannot depend on imported arms and aspire to become a global superpower, Raksha Mantri said that Government’s aim is to develop a vibrant and world class domestic defence industry so that dependence on imports is reduced and India becomes self-reliant in defence production.Raksha Mantri underlined that the DefExpo will give an opportunity to explore the capabilities of indigenous defence industry in partnership with prominent countries like US, Russia and South Korea etc, and will lead to strengthening the ties and promoting shared prosperity. He said that DefExpo will also be a good platform for Indian companies to display their innovations and future possibilities in areas like military power, artificial intelligence, cyber security, e-management, augmented and virtual reality and future forces.Shri Rajnath Singh reiterated the Government’s commitment to make India an economy of 5 trillion dollars and said that the mega event is part of that vision. He said that in spite of the global slowdown in the past few years, India has remained one of the top economically growing countries, adding that the country became the world’s sixth largest economy. Shri Rajnath Singh said that the aim now is to be in the league of top three economies of the world by the end of this decade.Thanking the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for extending all logistics and other support for organising DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, Shri Rajnath Singh said that the idea of hosting such a mega event in the Capital city reflects the Government’s development model that is based on decentralization of opportunities that was envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi for the Independent India. He said that such steps bring inclusive growth across the country.Raksha Mantri hoped that DefExpo would create jobs and employment opportunities for youth of the state and will make Uttar Pradesh a favoured destination for defence investments.Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath termed the hosting of DefExpo 2020 by Lucknow as a proud moment for the state. He said the prestigious event would give a fillip to the investments in UP.Earlier, senior officials of Ministry of Defence and the Government of Uttar Pradesh gave presentations on various events planned during the expo.