The Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show (VGGTS) 2015 to be held alongside the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit, which will focus on defence production, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), has been able to attract only some Indian firms from the defence sector, a top official said.
Gujarat has been trying to attract manufacturers from the defence sector since 2013. For the first time, the trade exhibition will be held from January 8 to 13 along with the VGGIS. This exhibition will have a special pavilion dedicated to defence sector. The trade show assumes importance as the business delegations, both national and foreign, participating in summit set up stalls here, and it is expected to attract 2 million footfalls.
“Many Indian manufactures have shown interest and also registered for the international exhibition, where they can interact with other ancillary industries as well as the government,” said a source from the Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb) adding, “So far no foreign manufacturers have booked stalls in the exhibition to be held at helipad ground near Mahatma Mandir.”
Touted as the biggest one in India, the exhibition will be spread across 1,25,000 sq metres of space. There will a total of 15 pavilions, over 10,000 sq metre space has been allotted to defence pavilion. Host of government companies, including the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Mazagon Dock Limited and the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd have confirmed their participation.
The source maintained that private firms, including L&T, Tata Advanced Systems, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra Defence System are also likely to come.
It was in 2013 that Narendra Modi, as Gujarat Chief Minister, first brought the defence in focus with a seminar in VGGIS 2013. His government, however, had been mulling over a defence policy since 2012, which never took off following cold treatment from the UPA government over his plans to set of Special Economic Zones and Special Investment Regions. With the Modi government at the Centre now stressing on building indigenous industry in this sector, the Anandiben Patel government in Gujarat is likely to announce a Defence Production Policy before or during the summit. The state aims to attract builders of aircraft, warships, submarines and defence vehicles, along with related ancillary units.