The 9th edition of DefExpo 2016, a land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibition kicked off on 28th March in Goa inaugurated by India’s Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar. While the last edition of the event saw 232 companies from 32 countries, this year it includes a much wider participation. As many as 1055 companies from 47 countries and 224 delegations from 48 countries around the globe are part of the event.

Renato Cudicio, CEO, Arsha Consulting who is also present at the exhibition said, “For Arsha Consulting, it is logical to be at such an event to meet the manufacturers of security equipment we are working with. However, it’s also an opportunity to discover new companies, new products and new clients. Since our core operations are in India, this exhibition in Goa is important for us. And being held in a location like Goa only adds to it.”

India is the world’s largest importer of arms considering it boasts of the third largest army, the fourth largest air force and the seventh largest navy in the world. The country spends at least 2.5% of its GDP on defence services and plans to invest at least 250 billion in the coming decade. Currently, 60% of Indian defence equipment requirements are met through imports and in recent years there has been effort to encourage self-reliance with equipment made in India.

The country has been looking to encourage research and defence manufacturing by creating favourable policies to collaborate with other countries. Self-reliance and employment generation are future goals from the sector’s growth. Currently, defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) play a major role, however, there is a growing participation of private players in the market. The private sector has been issued licenses to manufacture Unmanned aerial vehicle, armoured vehicles, military aircrafts among others as part of the ‘Make in India’ efforts.

The DefExpo 2016 also saw the unveiling of Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) that aims to focus on indigenous procurement. The DPP includes a newly incorporated class called buy Indian- IDDM (Indigenous Designed Developed and Manufactured) in an effort to boost local manufacturing.

Commenting on the growth in the Indian defence sector, Cudicio said, “While visiting the fair, we were surprised by the dynamism of the Indian defence industry, there are now companies that are on par with major international conglomerates. Particularly it is in products with a strong IT component that Indians are the best, but more “traditional” industries are also on the move.”

Countries that are participating include France, Canada, US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Finland and Egypt among others. DefExpo 2016 will conclude on 31st March.

Elizabeth Raj |Blogger - Arsha Consulting

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