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Defense chief attends defense expo in India, seeks ways to boost arms industry ties

All News 10:09 February 06, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo met with Indian officials and discussed ways to boost cooperation in the arms industry while attending a defense expo held in the South Asian country, his office said Thursday.

The DEFEXPO 2020, one of Asia's largest defense expos, kicked off on Wednesday to run until Sunday in the Indian city of Lucknow, bringing together some 700 companies from around 30 countries, including 12 South Korean firms.

On its sidelines, Jeong met with Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday and was briefed on the regional government's project to build a special zone for defense industries to attract foreign companies.

"The two sides exchanged opinions on supportive measures by India for South Korean companies if they operate there, such as tax incentives," the ministry said in a release, adding that they vowed efforts to make the special zone serve as a chance to develop mutually beneficial relations in terms of arms industries.

Jeong also visited booths set up by South Korean companies, such as Hanwha Defense and LIG Nex1 Co., and exchanged opinions with officials on how to promote exports to India.

Hanwha displayed a real-sized model of K-30 anti-aircraft defense system, named Biho, which is one of the most promising export items to India.

In 2018, the Indian army selected the Biho system as the sole candidate for acquisition. But the project has been delayed after Russia, another bidder for the project, has raised questions over the bidding process, according to arms procurement agency officials.

On the sidelines of the exhibition, Jeong also held bilateral talks with his Oman counterpart, Sayyid Badr Bin Saud, as well as with his United Arab Emirate counterpart, Mohammad Ahmed Al Bowardi, and discussed pending issues of mutual concern, according to the ministry.

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (C wearing blue tie) looks around the venue of the DEFEXPO 2020 in the Indian city of Lucknow on Feb. 5, 2020, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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