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Over a 1000 Indian & Foreign Arms Companies Participating in DefExpo 2016


defexpo2014.pngKnown globally for its serene beaches, scenic beauty and old architecture, Goa attracts domestic as well as international tourists in large number every year but for the first time Goa is opening its doors to Defence Exposition 2016 (DefExpo) from March 28 which will bring together 1,030 Indian and global armaments manufacturers. The four-day premier defence exhibition of the country is being inaugurated Monday by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, former Goa chief minister who guided the ninth edition of DefExpo out of New Delhi to Quepem Taluka of South Goa. March-end also marks end of the peak tourist season in Goa but this year around, the picture is different as required infrastructure on such a large scale is being readied and delegates from foreign and Indian companies have descended here for participating in the exhibition.

The interest of foreign armaments manufacturers can be gauged from the fact that major exhibitors are from the United States (93 companies), Russia (71), UK (46), Germany (39), France (38), Israel (38) as well as arms firms from South Korea and Italy. Being the world’s largest weapons importer, India evokes substantial interest in the global arms market. “More than 47 countries are participating in Defexpo 2016. For the first time, we will be holding live demonstrations of equipment, which was a constraint in Delhi”, said AK Gupta, Secretary, Defence Production. As many as 490 foreign arms manufacturers and 540 Indian companies are participating in the current edition of DefExpo. While Pakistan has not been extended an invitation as usual, China has not confirmed if it will send an official delegation to the exhibition.

This time around, the BJP-led NDA government has not barred any blacklisted or scam­tainted companies from participating in DefExpo.  As a result, Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, which was asked to stay away from the DefExpo held in the national Capital in 2014, will be taking part in DefExpo 2016. Finmeccanica’s UK-based Agusta-Westland’s VVIP helicopter deal had run into controversy and the then UPA government had scrapped it as allegations of corruption in swinging the deal in Agusta-Westland’s favour surfaced. ""The DefExpo assumes tremendous importance in the backdrop of the government's Make in India thrust,'' Mr. Gupta said. He indicated that the success of Defexpo 2016 would not be gauged by the contracts signed, but by how effectively it would provide a business-to-business forum for Indian and foreign companies to tie up partnerships to benefit from the “Make in India” policy."

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