Amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday said that India is a peace-loving country and believes that indigenous defence capabilities are the foundations to “enduring peace”.
Addressing a virtual meet — attended by Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Defence Attaches of over 75 countries — on the upcoming 13th biennial Aero India exhibition, the minister mentioned the steps taken by the government to boost domestic defence production, including increasing the FDI limit to 74 per cent through automatic route, the new Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 released last week, revised offset guidelines to promote investment in India for co-development and co-production, among others.
“We are a peace-loving country. We remain committed to peace and stability across the world. We also remain committed to the belief that self-reliance and indigenous defence capabilities are the foundations to enduring peace,” the Union minister said.
The exhibition, which showcases India’s aerospace and defence manufacturing capabilities, will be held in Bengaluru in February next year.
The minister said that India’s aerospace and defence sectors have “matured” and are “exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with friendly countries to set up manufacturing industries in India and defence equipment produced in India to be exported abroad”. Aero India-21, he said, “will showcase the government’s intent to achieve a turnover of USD 25 billion with exports of USD 5 billion in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025”.
According to a release issued by the Defence Ministry, Singh said, “Aero India-21 aligns with India’s vision to be among the top five countries of the world in defence and aerospace industries, with active participation of public and private sector fulfilling the objective of self-reliance as well as requirements of other friendly countries.”
“We are one of the few countries in the world which produce a fourth generation fighter aircraft, nuclear submarine, main battle tank and inter-continental ballistic missiles,” the minister said.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who also addressed the conference, said the state will make “all necessary preparations towards safe conduct” of the event “keeping in mind the safety of the participants and in compliance with the Covid-19 protocols”.
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