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India’s maturing defence manufacturing exploring key partnerships: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: As Uttar Pradesh gears up to organize the 11th edition of Defence Expo at Lucknow in February next year, so far 278 companies from across the globe and India have confirmed their participation.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while addressing Ambassadors’ Roundtable in Delhi on Monday, said “We have made policy reforms to smoothly grant necessary approvals to partner companies in defence manufacturing space.

Singh said India has matured in defence technology and is now exploring key partnerships for mutual advantage. In the last two years, India’s defence exports have grown 7 times to reach $1.3 billion.

Speaking on the occasion Industrial Development Minister of Uttar Pradesh Satish Mahana said that state has a robust security setup to safeguard investors’ interest. “We will provide all necessary support of power, water, roads and other infrastructure based on investors’ requirement in a time-bound manner. Our state has excellent connectivity via road, rail and air”, he said.

Additional Chief Secretary Govt of Uttar Pradesh Awanish Kumar Awasthi said, “Through the four-day Defence Expo, we are showcasing the advantages of investing in Uttar Pradesh. Apart from having a resilient security system, the state has created an investor-friendly environment where approvals are granted in the stipulated timeframe and with transparency.” “We have created Nivesh-Mitra (Friend of the Investor) to remove all challenges investors may face. All necessary approvals and granted with transparency and in a time-bound manner”, said Awasthi.

Representatives from 83 countries, including High Commissioners of 48 nations and senior diplomats participated in Ambassadors’ Roundtable. The DefExpo, so far, has received encouraging response from the defence manufacturing companies. Foreign and Indian companies in defence manufacturing space have already booked space over 77 per cent of the exhibition area. As compared to the Defence Expo in Chennai last time, the exhibition area was increased by over 35 per cent.

Companies that decide to set up a manufacturing base in Uttar Pradesh will also benefit from the upcoming Defence Corridor. The corridor would have six nodes at Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Kanpur and Lucknow would provide all necessary infrastructural and logistical support to the investing companies, said Awasthi.

The state already has a robust defence infrastructure with nine major ordinance factories, three major manufacturing units of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, one unit of BEL and two major technical institutes -IIT Kanpur and IIT at Banaras Hindu University, Awasthi said adding the state with 56 per cent population in the working-age has huge skilled human resource. The total population of the state is over 23 crore.

With a focus on Digital Transformation, India with its strength in information technology and software development, this Defence Expo aims at giving a fillip to collaborate with other nations to develop cutting edge military technology.

Earlier Minister of State for Defence Shripad Nayak and Secretary Defence Production Govt of India Subhash Chandra too shared their views on growing India’s presence in Defence Manufacturing space.

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