Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the DefExpo22 at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He assured that Gujarat will become an epicentre of defence in India. He unveiled HTT-40 – the indigenous trainer aircraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. He also launched Mission DefSpace and laid the foundation stone of Deesa airfield.
Underlining the uniqueness of this edition of Defexpo, the Prime Minister said “This is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment. The Expo has more than 1300 exhibitors which include the India Defence Industry, some joint ventures associated with Indian Defence Industry, MSMEs and more than 100 startups.” He further informed that more than 400 MoUs are being signed for the first time ever.
The PM also laid the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield. He said, “The air force base will add to the security architecture of the country. After coming to the government, we decided to set up an operational base in Deesa, and this expectation of our forces is being fulfilled today. This region will now become an effective centre of security for the country.”
The PM informed that 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”
CM Bhupendra Patel, Governor Acharya Devvrat, Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence StaffGeneral Anil Chauhan and other dignitaries graced the occasion.
India and Africa
On India’s relationship with Africa, PM Modi said, “The first railway lines in Africa had the participation of people from Kutch. Many words used in daily life in Africa have their origin in the Gujarati community in Africa. This relationship between India and Africa is time-tested and is further deepening. Even for a global leader like Mahatma Gandhi, if Gujarat was his birthplace, then Africa was his first Karmbhoomi. This affinity for Africa is still central to India’s foreign policy.”
The PM acknowledged Gujarat’s identity with regard to development and industrial capabilities. “This Defence Expo is giving a new height to this identity. Gujarat will emerge as a major centre of the defence industry in the coming days.”
Defence exports to 75 countries
“Eight years ago, India was recognised as the world’s largest defence importer. Now, our 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 13 thousand crore rupees. And in the coming time, we have set a target to reach 5 billion dollars i.e. 40 thousand crore rupees’” he added.
Also Read: Lulu Group to Set Up India’s Biggest Mall in Ahmedabad