Antony inaugurates Def Expo, advocates indigenisation in defence

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (ANI): Defence Minister AK Antony today inaugurated the Def Expo India 2010, sixth International Land and Naval Defence Systems Exhibition, here today.

Inaugurating the exhibition, Antony said: "India must achieve a high level of indigenisation in defence. Our quest for self-reliance in defence underlines the importance of private sector participation on the one hand and in revitalising the public sector, on the other."

"We want the public sector and the private sector to work in close cooperation, as friendly partners. Our defence industry is open up to 100 per cent for Indian private sector, while Foreign Direct Investment is allowed up to 26 per cent," he said.

"This year's edition of DefExpo is the sixth in series of India's Land and Naval Systems Exposition being organised biennially by Ministry of Defence since 1999. The event has grown from strength to strength."

"This year, the participation of companies has increased by around 40 percent compared to last year. It is heartening to note that 38 official delegations, including 14 ministerial delegations are attending DefExpo 2010," he said.

He said that the biggest challenge facing the world today is the security threats arising out of rapidly advancing technology, which has added a new dimension to the overall security environment.

India's defence expenditure is about 2.5 per cent of its GDP. The Indian economy expected to grow at 8-10 per cent for the next two decades.

"Expenditure on defence in absolute terms is bound to increase in equal proportion. I am sure that this will present the defence industry new and challenging opportunities to make a more meaningful contribution to the defence sector," Antony said.

DefExpo India 2010 is an endeavour to showcase India's capabilities in land and naval systems, as well as its emergence as an attractive destination for investment in defence sector.

The DefExpo 2010 provides ample opportunities to all the participants to display their latest technologies and products. It also helps them tap the market and business potential for mutual benefit. (ANI)

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