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12th DefExpo set to be first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies

NEW DELHI (PTI): The upcoming 'DefExpo 2022', slated to be held in Gujarat's Gandhinagar, is set to be the first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies, the Ministry of Defence said on Saturday.

Over 1,000 exhibitors have registered and the numbers are anticipated to be the highest-ever recorded during the previous editions of DefExpo, it said.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar comprehensively reviewed the preparations for the event, scheduled to be held from October 18-22, during the Apex Committee meeting held in Gandhinagar on Saturday, the Ministry said in a statement.

Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat, Pankaj Kumar and other senior officers of the state government as well as the Ministry of Defence attended the meeting.

"The 12th edition of DefExpo is scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22, 2022 in a first-ever four-venue format which promises to engage the public and inspire them to join the aerospace and defence manufacturing sector for 'Aatmanirbharta' in defence," it said.

The DefExpo 2022 was earlier scheduled from March 10-14, and was postponed "due to logistical challenges being faced by participants at that stage". The new dates were announced on August 8, the statement said.

"The forthcoming edition is the first-ever edition, exclusively for Indian companies. For DefExpo 2022, Indian companies, Indian subsidiaries of foreign OEMs, division of company registered in India, an exhibitor having a joint venture with an Indian company will be considered as Indian participants," it added.

"The theme of DefExpo 2022 is 'Path to Pride' and in semblance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to transform India into a strong and self-reliant nation by supporting, showcasing and forging partnerships for the Indian aerospace and defence manufacturing sectors with Indian as well as global customers.

"The aim is to showcase the might of the domestic defence industry which is now powering 'Make in India, Make for the World' resolve of the Government and the nation at large," the Ministry said.

Keeping with 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations, DefExpo 2022 promises to better its previous edition as it is being planned in the largest ever total area of over a lakh sqm (previous edition being 76,000 sqm), it said.

"The inaugural ceremony and seminars will be held at Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre (MMCEC), exhibition at Helipad Exhibition Centre (HEC), live demonstrations on all five days at Sabarmati River Front (SRF) and ship visits for public by Indian Coast Guard at Porbandar," the statement said.

Kumar urged the officials to strive towards making DefExpo22 a grand success with focus on business and export promotion of indigenous defence platforms and products.

The biggest drone show by the indigenous IIT Delhi start-up Botlabs (an iDEX winner) has also been organised, which will be another highlight of the mega event, it added.

"DefExpo 2022 will also mark the celebration of one year of the formation of the seven new defence companies, carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factories. All these companies will be participating for the first time at DefExpo," the statement said.

"The exhibition will also host the second edition of the India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD), with invites extended to 53 African countries. A separate Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave with participation of approximately 40 countries is also on the anvil," it said.

Many states have assured of participation as a state pavilion. The enhanced number of state pavilions, which is presently eight, would also provide the opportunity for chief ministers, industries ministers, chief secretaries, among others, to solicit investment and promote their respective states, thus cultivating more centres for indigenous aerospace and defence manufacturing within the country, the Ministry said.

Also, towards greater participation by start-ups and MSMEs, 50 per cent discount on space charges is offered, it said.

The India Pavilion – a marque pavilion of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence – will showcase the maturity of indigenous defence products, start-ups, latest technology, including artificial intelligence in defence, and will present India's vision for 2047. It has been named 'Path to Pride', the statement said.

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