Colombo, June 9: The Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay says that India this year has exported US$ 2 billion worth of defense exports to 85 countries. He was speaking at the Indo-Lankan defense seminar and exhibition here on December 7.
Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, State Minister of Defence was the Chief Guest of the event. The Defense Secretary, Chief of Defense Staff, Commander of Sri Lanka Navy and other senior officers from Sri Lanka Armed Forces, Police and Special Task Force also participated.
In addition, representatives from 16 leading Indian Defense companies such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Goa Shipyard Limited, and Bharat Electronics Limited were a part of the event.
It witnessed enthusiastic attendance by local industry representatives.
The High Commissioner complimented the conduct of the first such collaborative exhibition that brought together stakeholders in the defense sector from the two countries.
He underlined that India is exporting to 85 countries and defense exports stood at USD 2 billion from April 2022 – March 2023. This provides a good opportunity for Sri Lanka, as an immediate neighbor. He noted that the event is in line with India’s commitment to promoting security with partner countries in the region as per the Government of India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
(world is one family). The event was also a practical instance of the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy of India.
The State Minister of Defense lauded the growth of the Indian defense industry and expressed hope that the seminar would facilitate collaboration between the two countries, thereby contributing to a stable Indian Ocean Region. Further, the procurement of cost-effective and tailor-made products from India in the last decade has helped protect Sri Lankan sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He emphasized that collaboration and joint R&D with Indian defense industries would also lead to Sri Lanka’s economic revival. The Minister thanked Government of India for standing by Sri Lanka during challenging times.
Addressing the gathering through video message, Defense Secretary of India, Shri Giridhar Aramane described Sri Lanka as India’s priority partner and reassured that India stands committed to capacity and capability building of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces as part of PM Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region).
He also highlighted the common security challenges faced in the Indian Ocean Region and called for enhanced collaboration to create a safer environment. He brought out that India stands at the cusp of a major evolution to establish robust R&D and indigenous manufacturing ecosystems while fostering innovation and entrepreneurship under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
It may be recalled that the Sri Lanka Armed forces have been successfully operating a range of Indian defense equipment like L-70 guns, Indra Radar, Offshore Patrol Vessels, and Army training simulators.
More recently the GoI has committed to supply of Floating Dock, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and Dornier aircraft which would ensure capacity building of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.
Thus, the vibrant Seminar which had presentations, live demonstrations, and interaction between the India-Sri Lankan business representatives and the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and Police fostered positive discussions and engagement towards the promotion of Defense Industries.
The exhibition was also open to visitors wherein other defense personnel, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, NCC cadets, and interested people visited the exhibition.