Bangalore: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday held bilateral meetings with the defence heads of various countries on the sidelines of the Aero India show in Bangalore.

He held bilateral meetings with the defence heads of seven countries - Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Armenia and Congo.

He met with the Deputy Defence Minister of Armenia, Karen Brutyan; Congo's Minister of National Defence, Charles Richard Mondjo; Tanzania's Defence Minister, Basungwa Innocent Lugha; Defence Minister of Zimbabwe, Oppah Charm Zvinpange Muchinguri; Sri Lanka's Minister of State for Defence, Premitha Bandara Tennakoon; Defence Minister of Nepal, Hari Prasad Uprety; and Security Advisor to Bangladesh PM, Maj Gen Tarique Ahmed Siddique.

He also addressed the CEOs of local and global OEMs during a Round Table event in Bangalore and said that the Government of India is open to new ideas and is committed to fully harnessing the energy and capability of private sector partners in the area of defence production.

Today, Singh is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the defence heads of four other countries - the UK, Italy, Zambia and Maldives.

An important official source said that in the bilateral meetings, there was talk of buying and selling defence goods. Apart from this, India has assured countries who took part today in the bilateral meetings that India will cooperate in their capacity building in the defence sector.

India also gave assurance that they will help them to strengthen the defence goods which are almost lacking in their countries.

The entire spectrum of defence cooperation was discussed during the meetings, with a focus on identifying avenues to expand mutually beneficial collaboration.

After his meeting with Nepal's Defence Minister, Uprety, Singh tweeted, "Wonderful interaction with the Defence Minister of Nepal, Shri Hari Prasad Uprety on the sidelines of Aero India Show in Bengaluru. We look forward to continued cooperation to further deepen our close partnership and shared interests."

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 14th edition of Asia's biggest aero show - Aero India 2023 - at Air Force Station in Yelahanka, Bengaluru.

A commemorative stamp was also released by PM Modi on the occasion.

The five-day event, on the theme 'The runway to a billion opportunities', will showcase India's growth in aerospace and defence capabilities.

It will display indigenous equipment/technologies and forge partnerships with foreign companies, in line with the 'Make in India, Make for the World' vision for a secure and prosperous future.