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DefExpo platform for Cos to showcase products at global level: Defence Minister

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inspects the dry run of the Land, Naval and Aero defence systems at Thiruvadanthai near Chennai ahead of DefExpo 2018. Photo: Defence Ministry /Twitter

CHENNAI (PTI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the DefExpo starting in Chennai from April 11 would be a platform for various companies, including micro, small and medium enterprises, to showcase products at the global level.

The four day DefExpo is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 12.

"This Exposition is being conducted in India every two years. This year we are conducting it in Tamil Nadu (Chennai).

Various foreign delegates at the Ministerial level will be taking part in it", she said on Sunday.

"Big companies, small companies, even micro, small and medium enterprises are participating in the event, which will give them an opportunity to show their manufacturing capabilities to various countries", she said.

The minister was speaking to reporters after witnessing a dry run of Land, Naval and Aero defence systems at Thiruvadanthai, about 40 km from Chennai, where the DefExpo will be held.

Sitharaman said the Defence Ministry has given 50 per cent concession in booking stalls to MSMEs and added that indigenously manufactured helicopters, tanks and minesweepers would be showcased at the event.

The DefExpo would also give an opportunity to companies already exporting defence components to expand their business, she said.

Asked whether an invitation was sent to China to take part in the exposition, she said there was enough time to confirm their participation.

An exhibition of weapons and military hardware, 'Defence Expo' will project India's defence manufacturing capabilities and showcase its potential to be a major exporter of military platforms.

Indigenously developed military helicopters, aircraft, missiles and rockets, capabilities to manufacture submarines, frigates and corvettes would be showcased at the event.

More than 50 countries have confirmed their participation in the Expo.

Defence Production Secretary Ajay Kumar said the event was one of the biggest organised anywhere in the world.

"A total of 701 exhibitors have confirmed their participation, making it the highest ever registered. Nearly 72 per cent of Indian exhibitors have booked stalls for showcasing their products", he said.

"This is the largest DefExpo we are conducting on a 2.90 lakh square feet, which is nearly 25 per cent higher than the previous edition", he said.

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