Panaji, March 28: The 9th edition of DefExpo-2016 got off to a flying start with a record 1055 companies in attendance. Defence delegations and military brains from across the globe descended on Goa, as son of the soil and India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar declared open the largest expo on defence ever witnessed by India so far.
Parrikar used the opportunity to brand his government's aggressive Make in India programme. He said Make in India should interlink with Startup India programme so that more players would reap the benefits.
"We have released the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP)-2016 today and the e-version has been uploaded on to the website. We have addressed all concerns expressed by various stake-holders. The DPP will further enhance the defence sector in India," Parrikar said.
He said the DefExpo would showcase what India can do and with Make in India programmme the capabilities would further flourish.
Soon after the inaugural event, a demonstration of some of the home-grown products were held at an enclosure close to the venue. India's Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun Mk-1 and Mk-2 demonstrated some of its unique capabilities.
Speaking to OneIndia, Dr Satheesh Reddy, top missile scientist and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister said that the expo would open up new avenues to Indian companies.
"The atmosphere is ideal for companies to enter the defence sector. The new DPP is inspiring to all stake-holders. Our national programmes can be propelled ahead only if more Indian companies get into this sector. We are excited about the prospects of defence sector," Dr Reddy told OneIndia, on the sidelines of the inaugural session.
Chief Minister of Goa Laxmikant Parsekar made a passionate speech inviting global firms to set up shops in the coastal state.