Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the Defence Expo in Chennai today. PM Modi was accompanied by Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam, Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Addressing the gathering, PM Modi said that this was his first ever visit to a defence expo. He lauded the efforts of the Ministry and said that he was delighted to see over 500 Indian and over 150 foreign companies participating in the exposition.
“It is wonderful to see that over 500 Indian companies & over 150 foreign companies are here. More than 40 countries have sent their official delegations as well”, he said. PM Modi also expressed there was a time when critical issues like defence preparedness and national security were hampered by policy paralysis. He reassured by saying that there would be no laziness or incompetence towards issues of such importance.
PM Modi also said that the imperative to Make in India and Make for India particularly in the defence sector has never been as stronger as it is now. Licensing of defence offsets, FDI in defence and export clearance depends solely on the government. PM Modi said that the government was taking steps to ease bureaucratic procedures to ensure higher defence production in the country.
He also showered his praise for Tamil Nadu by recalling the glorious legacy of Cholas and their naval power. He also said that it was in Tamil Nadu that the ‘Look East Policy’ began a thousand years ago. Chief Minister K. Palaniswami thanked PM Narendra Modi and the Defence Minister for choosing Tamil Nadu as a venue for the expo and for initiating the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor. He also said that Tamil Nadu will contribute in all its capacity for the development of defence production in India.
Defence Expo has attracted over has over 670 defence firms, this includes 154 foreign defence firms and over 500 domestic defence production firms. Yesterday, on the first day of the defence expo, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharam also addressed the media and had thanked the Prime Minister for his immense support.
The mega exhibition formally began today with the participation of major international and domestic defence firms displaying their cutting-edge products. The agenda of this defence exposition was to change India’s image as an importer to India as an exporter of defence products. The tagline of the expo, “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”, also suggests India’s ambitious attempt to project itself as a manufacturer of defence products.