Sunday,21 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1421, (6 - 12 December 2018)
Sunday,21 April, 2019
Issue 1421, (6 - 12 December 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Standing strong on defence

On Monday, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi inaugurated Egypt’s first ever defence and security trade show, Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX), reflecting the progress Egypt has made in its military industries, and confirming its role as a major regional security power. 

The Ministry of Military Production, headed by Minister of State Major General Mohamed Al-Assar, in coordination with the world’s largest organiser of defence and security shows, Clarion Events, has worked to attract over 300 international manufacturers and suppliers of the latest military equipment, technology and systems for land, navy, air, special forces and air defence to participate in the first edition of EDEX.

As one of the largest military powers in the Middle East and Africa, and as one of the leading armed forces worldwide, Egypt represents an ideal setting for organising such a large-scale and respectful event for the defence sector. Extending over three days, EDEX provides a perfect platform for local, regional and international defence forces and companies to display their military systems, hardware, products and services. It also represents a unique opportunity to strengthen relations with government departments, businesses and armed forces throughout the Arab and African regions.

Major international companies from all over the world taking part in EDEX will also have an unprecedented opportunity to network with Egyptian military production manufacturers, international delegations and the world’s defence industry. The show floor includes country pavilions from Belarus, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. This scale of endorsement further reflects global commitment to development of the military sector in the region.

In addition to showcasing the latest advances in the defence sector, EDEX will highlight the contribution of Egyptian companies to the supply chain of global military production, as well as highlighting the strength of the Egyptian market, both as a supplier and buyer of the latest defence and security technologies. Thus, the event marks an important moment in presenting Egypt as an international meeting point for defence leadership and industry. It is also an evident show of international support for the efforts made by the Egyptian Armed Forces to ensure regional security, and its success in overcoming domestic security challenges, topped with terrorism.

In developing countries like Egypt, providing support for military industries is not only aimed at meeting the country’s security needs at very turbulent times in the region. The advanced technologies used in military hardware will certainly prove useful, as well, in other civilian industries, allowing the creation of jobs and reducing dependence on imports at a time the country needs to significantly reduce its trade deficit.

Considering the unconventional threats facing the world, topped with terrorism and cyber-attacks, military industries nowadays are not limited to conventional weapons such as aircrafts, tanks, navy ships and missiles. World countries also need to work together to assure that advances made in the field of communications are not misused by terror groups that now pose the most dangerous threat all over the world. Whether a world super power like the United States, or a major regional power like Egypt, together all participants in EDEX will certainly benefit by taking part in this event, exchanging information on the latest advances in confronting new and unconventional threats in today’s world.

Finally, the fact that this exhibition will be held once every two years poses a challenge to Egyptian military industries in order to improve and develop their products to be able to compete and stand on an equal footing with similar countries that will be taking part in EDEX in the future. And that is definitely what’s to be expected from the active and dedicated Minister of State for Military Production Major General Al-Assar.

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