India attends 6th ASEAN Defence ministers’ meet

Minister of Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh attended the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meet in Bangkok, Thailand, over October 18-20

November 17, 2019

Minister Singh highlighted that the ‘Make in India’ initiative offers lucrative opportunities for the defence manufacturing sector

The Government of India’s Draft Defence Production Policy 2018 targets defence export of US$5 billion by 2025

India’s approach to Indo-Pacific security has been encapsulated by Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)

A US$130 billion budget has been alloted by the Government of India on military modernization and self reliance

India’s Union Minister of Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh, attended the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meet in Bangkok, Thailand, over November 18-20. India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, is the world’s fourth-largest defence spender with a military budget of over US$50 billion as of 2018. The nation of 1.3 billion people is committed to ascertaining peace and security in its neighbourhood as well as around the world. India, currently involved in peacekeeping missions around the world, is also committed to becoming independent in terms of its defence requirements and has been encouraging indigenous R&D and manufacturing in space. 

While speaking at the ‘India Rising’ seminar on the sidelines of the summit, Minister Singh highlighted upon the prominence offered by the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative when it came to defence manufacturing. This, in the Minister’s opinion, would put India on the path to becoming a hub of defence manufacturing and a key exporter of defence platforms and equipment. He informed the audience that India’s Draft Defence Production Policy 2018 envisages export worth US$5 billion by the year 2025. India has also put in place a Defence Innovation Fund so that the government could be part of equity investment in defence startups. 

The Government of India is committed to building a US$26 billion defence industry by 2025. The sector currently offers 100 per cent foreign direct investment and has already seen participation by leading international defence players. In the financial year 2015-16, defence equipment, spares and platforms produced within the nation were exported to more than 28 countries. A US$130 billion budget has been set aside by the Government of India on military modernization and self-reliance in terms of production. 

Addressing the theme of ‘Sustainable Security’, Shri Rajnath Singh emphasised on the importance of a cooperative framework for managing situations of international security. He defined India’s approach to Indo-Pacific security through the acronym Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). While speaking on the creation of the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea as well as the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the Minister expressed his hope that there would be fair, equitable and peaceful outcomes. On the sidelines of the summit, Minister Singh attended a bilateral meeting with Mark T Esper, US Secretary of Defence.

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