South Asian country, India has set an ambitious target of doubling its defence exports over the next five years, as a slowing economy has forced the country to cut down on imports.
The announcement, made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a defence fair on Wednesday, is part of New Delhi’s “Make in India” initiative.
The PM of the second most populous nation, Modi said the country was already manufacturing artillery guns, aircraft carriers and submarines, and that India’s share in global defence exports had increased.
“Now our aim is to increase defence exports to 5 billion dollars,” Modi said at the Defence Expo in Lucknow, the capital city of the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
“Those who know about defence and economy surely know that India is not just a market.,” he said.
India is the world’s second-largest arms importers after Saudi Arabia, and it accounts for nearly 10 per cent of the global share, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It previously held the number one spot, with Russia accounting for more than half of India’s weapons imports. Israel and the United States are the other two major suppliers to New Delhi.
The Defence Expo is being attended by several big arms manufacturers from France, Russia, Israel, and the United States. More than 1,000 firms, including 172 foreign companies, are participating in the event, according to the Indian Defense Ministry.