VIJAYAWADA: Stating that Andhra Pradesh is poised to become the destination for investments in defence and aerospace sector, Industries, Commerce and IT Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy has said that the State government is moving ahead with its plan to establish a defence cluster at Donakonda of Prakasam district.
Participating in the DEFEXPO India-2020 in Lucknow on Wednesday, the minister, who led a delegation from the State, said the government has vast area of lands in Donakonda for the establishment of the cluster. Nearby ports of Krishnapatnam and Chennai will benefit in import and export operations, he said.
“The Industries department has already sent a proposal to the Union government for the establishment of a defence cluster in Donakonda. Under the Make in India initiative, Donakonda is an ideal place for developing defence mechanisms, which also suits aerospace industries,” the minister said.
“We have ambitious target to create a $26 billion defence industry in the next six years and export $5 billion in defence manufacturing. The way forward, I believe, is to create world class technologies in India by building a partnership based on mutual trust. I believe the dynamic French defence industry is a natural partner in this endeavour,’’ he said.
Stating that India and France have a multi-faceted relationship spanning multiple domains from defence, civil nuclear and space to climate change, clean energy and urbanisation, he said the India-France strategic partnership, nurtured over two decades has led to several key developments in recent times. The ties have also highlighted the importance of French partnership in defence, outer space and maritime security, cyber security and digital technology.
He further said that students of the State were being trained in skill initiatives such as shipbuilding and marine systems under Dassault Systems and also secured placements in top notch companies.
“We are investing heavily in the development of enabling infrastructure, which includes six operational seaports, seven airports, over 123,000-km-long road network and 2,600 km of rail network. The State is currently on the cusp of a major economic and social transformation,” he said, inviting investments to the State.