Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reaches out to the global defence industry, ahead of Defexpo-22 - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 26 October 2021

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reaches out to the global defence industry, ahead of Defexpo-22

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 26th Oct 21


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday addressed more than 200 foreign envoys and defence attaches at a round table in Delhi, reaching out to countries that might import defence weaponry from India and to global vendors who could be interested in defence manufacture here. 


He urged them to participate in DefExpo 2022, India’s premier land and naval systems exhibition, which will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from March 10-13 next year.


Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that “DefExpo-2022 will sow the seeds of successful new ventures and international partnerships to promote shared prosperity, boost investment, expand manufacturing and bolster aerospace and defence ecosystem in India.”


Thanking the foreign delegates for participating in DefExpo 2020 and Aero India 2021, he said DefExpo 2022 aimed to have an even greater presence of foreign and Indian exhibitors.


He said the Indian aerospace and defence manufacturing sector is ready to soar to newer heights, given its potential for research and development (R&D) in space, cyberspace, futuristic capabilities and disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, block-chain, virtual reality, 3D printing, digital frontier and Internet of Military Things.


Singh pointed out measures that he said the government had taken, including increasing defence capital outlay this year by 18.75 per cent, which he termed the highest increment in 15 years.


He also underlined his ministry’s policy reforms, including simplifying industrial licensing; allowing 74 per cent foreign direct investment through the automatic route and 100 per cent for critical technologies with government approvals; introduction of Open General Export License policy; two positive indigenisation lists that placed an import embargo on 209 defence items; the corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) into seven new defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs); and allowing the private sector to use OFB and DPSU testing and trial facilities. 


“It is because of the collaborative efforts of entities from all over the world that our defence exports have grown by 334% in the last five years and now India is exporting to more than 75 countries. Our export performance is a strong indicator of the quality and competitiveness of our defence products,” said the defence minister.


The defence minister also launched the DefExpo 2022 website (, which enables exhibitors to register and book space online on a first-come-first-serve basis, make online payments, book conference halls and venues for business-to-business meetings.


The website will also allow trade visitors to buy their tickets for visiting the show during the two business days, i.e. March 10 and 11. The general public is being allowed free entry on the last two days, i.e. March 12 and 13.

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