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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India's Defence Expo 2006 opens

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 31, IRNA
India-Defence Expo 2006
Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 4th International Land & Naval Systems Exhibition (DefExpo India-2006) here today.

"I invite guests to take advantage of skills in India and collaborate with companies here for exporting defence products to other countries," the defence minister said while inaugurating the 4th Defence Expo India-2006.

The minister's offer comes in the wake of a recent slump in the country's armament exports with official figures putting it at less than Rs 80 crore compared to the peak of Rs 160 crore in 2002-03.

Mukherjee's remarks come as the government is all set to evolve a new offset policy which would make it mandatory for foreign suppliers to source from Indian firms 30 percent of the goods and services for their defence supplies in contracts of over Rs 300 crore.

Mukherjee said India has eight defence public sector
enterprises, 39 ordnance factories and 50 laboratories under the Defence Research and Development Organization.

As many as 420 companies from 39 countries including the USA, UK, Russia, Italy, Sweden, France, South Africa, South Korea, Ukraine, Germany, Czech Republic, Israel, Poland, Austria, Canada, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Spain are participating in the 4th Defence Expo jointly organized by the Ministry of Defence and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Latest figures indicate that India's expenditure on procurement touches a staggering Rs 25,000 crore.

The objective of the four-day (Jan 31-Feb 3) exhibition is to showcase India's technological capability in the field of land and naval systems, provide a platform to promote exportable products manufactured by the Indian Defence Industries and invite private sector involvement in defence production.

The exhibition also aims at inviting participation of
international companies seeking to exhibit technologies and products.

DefExpo India-2006 has shown nearly forty percent average growth over the last edition in 2004.

The next DefExpo is to be held on Feb 16-19, 2008.

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