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Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar sets $2-billion target

The Union government has set a target of $2 billion in defence exports in the next two years, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.

The Ministry had noted the concerns expressed over the issue of strategic partners in manufacturing and would hold discussions with the industry, he said at a seminar organised by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India. The government intends to identify major private companies eligible to take the lead in critical defence projects so as to boost domestic manufacturing.

“From a meagre $140-150 million, this year I think we have crossed $330-odd million… I have set a target for myself, in the next two years, why not touch $2 billion. It is not an impossible target.”

Addressing automotive manufacturers keen on entering the aerospace sector, he highlighted the bottlenecks in defence exports in contrast to the automotive sector: to whom it was being sold; and international regulations.

Mr. Parrikar said offsets were an area where “exports and expertise can come.” During 2014 and 2015, offset obligations brought in $990 million, and this was likely to touch $2 billion in the next two years as major deals for fighter aircraft and helicopters were expected to be signed. As part of the offset requirements, foreign companies are required to invest a part of the contract value back in the country.


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