Hosting the four - day Defence Expo would benefit Goa by helping it pitch itself to the international investment community, Confederation of Indian industry (CII) said on Tuesday.
The CII also criticised a campaign - - led by Congress party and some civil society organisations - - against holding the event in Goa, scheduled for March 28 to 31.
"Activism should be for something positive. It would be right if Goa asked for defence manufacturing units being set up by foreign companies here. Goan youth will then get the best paying jobs, " CII Goa vice chariman Shekhar Sardessai told reporters here.
He said the defence ministry should even consider making Goa a permanent venue for the international B2B event which would help the state make its contribution to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' dream.
The biennial event has always been held in New Delhi but is being moved to Goa this time because its usual venue, Pragati Maidan in the national capital, is unavailable.
"Goa should try to ride the wave of 'Make in India' in defence manufacturing and bargain with the Defence Ministry to set up defence manufacturing units in Goa like the helicopter manufacturing unit in exchange for using its land, " Sardessai said.
DefExpo 2016 has attracted opposition from the ruling BJP - led coalition government's political opponents as well as a section of the civil society over the allocation of six lakh sq metres of land at Betul in South Goa.
The project's critics claim that the dicision to shift the venue to Goa was not taken in consultation with the local people.