New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh described DefExpo 2020 as an unprecedented success which not only witnessed participation of a large number of exhibitors but also forged new partnerships and attracted more than 12 lakh visitors.
Speaking at the valedictory ceremony on the fourth day of DefExpo 2020 at Lucknow on 8 February, Singh said that Uttar Pradesh has unlimited potential and DefExpo has succeeded in projecting a new identity of the state in the Defence sector. He assured that the Defence corridor received a huge boost for attracting new investments with the signing of 23 MoUs.
Singh said that DefExpo would also establish India as a Defence manufacturing hub of the world and as a major exporter. He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inaugurating the DefExpo and adopting policies that improved image of India on an international stage.
Singh informed that the Lucknow Declaration adopted by the first-ever India-Africa Defence Ministers conclave is another landmark achievement of DefExpo 2020. He expressed gratitude to Uttar Pradesh Government headed by Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath for the successful organisation of the event.
Adityanath that said his government had organised many international events during the last few years such as Prayagraj Kumbhmela, UP Investors’ Summit and Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas and the successful organisation of DefExpo enhanced the image of Uttar Pradesh. Describing DefExpo as ‘Defence Kumbh’, he said the event witnessed presence of more than 3,000 foreign delegates, 10,000 Indian delegates and 12 lakh visitors and laid a strong foundation for the development of UP Defence corridor
In his opening remarks, Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar described DefExpo as a job well done as various events concluded smoothly. The event was successful in raising awareness and interest of investors in UP Def corridor, he added.
In this Defexpo, 1,024 exhibitors participated, 172 of them being foreign companies. 40 Defence Ministers were part of a total 70 foreign delegations that visited Lucknow. It also showed that India is not behind any other country in terms of digital technology prowess, Kumar added.
At the Valedictory ceremony Satish Mahana, Minister for Industrial Development Uttar Pradesh Government; Barun Mitra, Special Secretary Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence; Awanish Kumar Awasti, CEO UPEIDA; and Madhavan R, CMD HAL were also present.
As the DefExpo was thrown open for the public, huge crowds thronged the venue. Thousands of young and old, men, women and children were seen visiting various pavilions and trying to acquaint themselves with the Defence Equipment on display.
The biggest ever such DefExpo to be organised in India was inaugurated by PM Modi on 5 February, where he had set a target of $5 Billion for defence exports to be achieved in the next few years. India with its huge population, democracy cannot remain long dependent on defence imports, Modi ascertained. The DefExpo is part of Government efforts to make India a net exporter of Defence equipment, he added.
More than 22 seminars held during the past four days highlighted the technological changes, digital transformation of Defence and the positive policies implemented by the Government – such as relaxation in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), encouraging innovation in Defence start-ups, opening up of testing facilities to Private sector and sharing of technology innovations of DRDO at no cost, among others to make India a defence manufacturing hub.
DefExpo 2020 has covered a lot of ground in creating an environment where Indian industry forged partnerships through MoUs and Transfer of Technology agreements for innovation and manufacturing.
DefExpo 2020 offered a unique opportunity for the Indian Defence Public Sector Units (DPSU) to showcase their technological innovations and new products to the world. DPSUs displayed their strong support to the Armed forces.
Among the Defexpo highlights was India Pavilion which offered a peep into the futuristic technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AR), Augmented Virtual Reality (AVR), Autonomous Systems, Internet of Military Things (IoMT) and Industry 4.0.
The Indian Armed Forces performed live demonstrations at two locations in Lucknow. Demonstrations by Indian Army and Airforce enthralled the audiences at DefExpo site. The Indian Navy and Indian Coast guard demonstrated live performances at the Gomti Riverfront. The acts included Indian Army daredevils performing on their bikes, a flypast by Suryakiran jets, slithering action performed by commandos, and horse riding captured the attention of spectators.
DefExpo 2020 concluded on 9 February.
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