Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( PTI )
'Two grand defence corridors are being built today in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh'', PM said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said two grand defence manufacturing corridors were being built in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to help the defence sector as well as other smaller businesses in the regions.
"Two grand defence corridors are being built today in India. One is in Tamil Nadu, while the second is being built in Uttar Pradesh. This will not only help the defence sector but other smaller businesses in the regions as well," said Prime Minister here at the Defence Expo 2020.
Stressing on India's future plan to strengthen the defence sector, he said at least 25 products associated with artificial intelligence in the defence sector will be developed in the next 5 years.
He said aspirations and abilities of 21st century India are being well-portrayed at this Expo.
The Prime Minister said India is targetting to export defence of Rs 35,00 crore in the next five years.
"In 2014, the export of defence of India was about Rs 2000 crore. In the last 2 years, India has exported defence worth Rs 17,000 crore. In the next 5 years, we're targeting to take the number to Rs 35,000 crore," he said.
"Till 2014, only 217 defence licenses were issued. In the last 5 years, this number has grown to 460," the Prime Minister added.
He asserted that India is building several defence types of equipment like artillery guns, aircraft carriers, submarines, light-combat aircraft, and combat helicopters.
"People who understand economy and defence know that India is not just a market, but a huge opportunity as well," he said.
Underlining that several changes have been made in the offset sector and guidelines have been made more flexible, Modi said: "These changes would help the Indian industry take a bigger role in the world supply chain. World's top defence manufacturers will now get more competitive Indian partners."
The Prime Minister also said that the "wrong use of technology, terrorism and cyber threats" are big hurdles for the entire world.
The main theme of this year's event is 'India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub' and the focus will be on 'Digital Transformation of Defence'.
As many as 1028 companies have registered for participating in this year's event, as against 702 in the DefExpo 2018. The number of participating foreign companies have also increased to 172 from the previous figure of 160.