Display of the defence prowess, strengthening the self-reliance mission, modernisation, global reach and inclusivity highlighted during Aero India 2021.
After three days of filled with hybrid interactions, conferences, deals, displays and air show, the valedictory function of the 13th edition of the Aero India 2021 was graced by President of India, Ram Nath Kovind and the first lady, Savita Kovind.
It was reported that the show was physically attended by over 600 exhibitors and by another 108 in the virtual mode of the world's first ever hybrid show. Around 3,000 Business-2-Business (B2B) meetings were conducted during the event and representatives from 63 foreign countries were said to be in attendance.
In his address the President said, "India is not just a market, but a land of immense opportunities for the whole world, including in the defence sector. The government has taken a number of policy initiatives aimed at placing India among the top nations in the defence sector with twin objectives of self-reliance and export promotion. The President said that the government is focused on promoting the 'Ease of Doing Business' to encourage manufacturers to set up units in India. The reforms initiated in India in the last six years offer unprecedented opportunities to investors and private companies in the defence and aerospace sectors."
In his address the President said, "India is not just a market, but a land of immense opportunities for the whole world, including in the defence sector. The government has taken a number of policy initiatives aimed at placing India among the top nations in the defence sector with twin objectives of self-reliance and export promotion."
Aero India 2021 is a living proof of India's ever-growing strength in the defence and aerospace sectors at the global level and the event has exhibited that the global confidence in India's capabilities is growing steadily, Kovind noted. Referring to the Conclave of Defence Ministers of Indian Ocean Region (IOR), on the theme of 'Enhanced Peace, Security, and Co-operation in the Indian Ocean', which was organised on the margins of Aero India 2021, the President said that India has always been an ardent advocate of universal peace and development and it is important that IOR nations focus on fostering political, economic, cultural and defence co-operation.
The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier remarked that Aero India offered a unique platform to Indian private and public sector industry and global original equipment manufacturers to forge partnerships and showcase products to potential customers. "Despite the COVID-19 challenges, Aero India was successful in attracting 16,000 visitors physically and close to 5 lakh people virtually. He said the large number of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) concluded during the event and orders of over 203 crores bagged by MSMEs were an indication of the exhibition's success.
Aero India 2021 would help in achieving the target of a turnover of 1,75,000 crore, including exports of 35,000 crore in aerospace and defence goods & services by the year 2024," said the Defence Minister.
The first ever IOR Defence Ministers' Conclave during the airshow was attended by ministers and delegates from 26 countries, and the discussions focused on synergising efforts of IOR countries in the Indian ocean and expressed belief that there would be a higher level of cooperation amongst IOR countries on peace and security in the future. A conclave of Chiefs of Air Staff was also organised to pursue the objectives of collaborative security for the region and beyond. "The iDEX 'Start-up Manthan', the 6th India-Russia Military Industrial Conference and various seminars held on wide ranging themes would help in achieving twin objectives of Atmanirbharata and Defence exports. In the last few years the Armed Forces had given significant support to the mission of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' and played an important role in promoting domestic industry. Aero India 2021 would help in achieving the target of a turnover of 1,75,000 crore, including exports of 35,000 crore in aerospace and defence goods & services by the year 2024," the Defence Minister stated during the valedictory session of the show.
Singh also significantly remarked that 'self-reliance' does not mean isolation from the world or act as a closed economy but promotes globalisation by making India a more competitive player on the global stage and inviting the global companies. "India will invest around 130 billion US dollars towards enhancing security by military modernisation in the next 7-8 years," he added.