Govt. to encourage joint ventures in Defence

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Bangalore, Feb 9 (ANI): Assuring that India's defence expenditure would continue to grow in the next two decades, Defence Minister AK Antony on Wednesday said that the government will continue to encourage joint ventures for the development of the Aerospace Industry in the country.

Delivering the inaugural address at the 8th Aero India 2011 here, Antony said: "India's democratic credentials and a fast growing economy have convinced the world that it can play a responsible and a stabilizing role in the region. India has always been a votary of peace. Yet, violent disturbances in our immediate and extended neighbourhood pose security challenges for our nation and the region as a whole."

"Our government is steadfast in its resolve to meet any challenge. We are therefore, committed to ensure rapid modernization of our Armed Forces and equip them with the state-of-the-art systems, equipment and platforms. Our current defence expenditure - 2.5 percent of its GDP, is consistent with our projected security requirements and is bound to increase over the next two decades," he added.

Antony further said: "Today, India's aerospace sector has emerged as the fastest-growing one in the world. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is one company, which has some rich experience in the field. Some other major companies have recently entered the fray."

"This is a positive and an encouraging development. We are open to joint ventures, public-private partnerships and licence production under transfer of technology for the all-round development of the aerospace industry," he added. (ANI)

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