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ESBAŞ- Defense and Aviation Industry National and Domestic Industry Development Conference Held in İzmir

Issue 96

Under the auspices of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and with the Aerospace Cluster Association (HUKD), the Aegean Free Zone Development and Operating Co. (ESBAŞ), which has hosted nearly 50 national and international conferences, organized the “Industrial Growth in National Defense and Aerospace via International Cooperation” conference on October 10-11, 2019 at the ESBAŞ Technology Center Conference Hall.

İzmir Deputy Governor Barış DEMİRTAŞ, ESBAŞ Chairman of the Board Faruk GÜLER, Vice President of the Presidency of Defense Industries Serdar DEMİREL, Gaziemir District Governor Ahmet Süheyl ÜÇER, Gaziemir Mayor Halil ARDA, President of Aerospace Cluster Association Osman OKYAY and numerous guests were present at the opening speeches of the conference.

Emphasizing at his opening speech that ESBAŞ has achieved many firsts so far, Faruk GÜLER, ESBAŞ Chairman of the Board said, “Under the auspices of the Presidency of Defense Industries, we organized two international Aviation and Offset Conferences in 2008 and 2010. In 2012, we hosted the Global Industrial Cooperation Conference, which was decided to be held in İzmir by taking full marks from the international organization committee established in this field. The establishment of the first Aerospace Cluster Association in Turkey was led by us. Ege University Aviation Higher Vocational School is located in Gaziemir and our graduates have been performing important tasks in the Aviation and Aircraft Industry for years.”

Touching also upon international cooperation, GÜLER said, “The aim of this conference is to set a landscape for international cooperation of companies performing activities in the defense and aerospace industry. I hope that the participants establish fruitful collaborations and that we will see achievement of our goal.”  

Underlining the importance of making a difference in the defense industry, Vice President of the Presidency of Defense Industries Serdar DEMİREL said, “Owning the same weapon or similar weapons with the whole world increases predictability, therefore we have to produce extraordinary weapons. The defense and aerospace industry has grown by 60% in the last 10 years, but we need to increase it at least fourfold. Compared to European countries, we are at the level of 1 in 5; therefore we should increase our exports 4 times. Turkey's defense industry realized $ 2 billion in exports last year; $ 900 million was realized in the aviation/aerospace sector. This year it continues to increase. We achieved $ 2 billion in the first 9 months. If we continue this way, we will have achieved an export of $ 2.5 billion with an increase of 38%. From a general point of view, Turkey's export increased by 10% during the last 6 years, but the export in our defense and aviation/aerospace industry increased by 60%. This is really impressive but we have to go further. In our 11th Development Plan, our 2023 target for defense and aviation/aerospace exports is $ 10 billion. We need to increase it four times. We need to think more innovatively and challenge our intellect by coming together. We are amongst the first 15 countries in the world in export. There are leagues in these 15 countries. We passed the amateur league, but we're in the third league. U.S. is the leader. Our exports are one-tenth of the U.S.  The U.S., China and Russia, these are very different countries. We can look at the example of European countries. We have ¼ of the amount of the exports of European countries. We should increase our exports by 4 times.

Turkish aviation and defense industry companies, especially Turkish Armed Forces Foundation companies that are the backbone of domestic industry, foreign aviation companies, local authorities, rule-makers, SMEs, associations, local and foreign clusters came together at the conference under the themes of “How Domestic Industry Develops with International Cooperation?, Defense Industry Security and Export Control, International Cooperation and Practices in R&D and Design, Importance of Export for the Sustainability of Defense, Foreign Direct Investment in Defense and Aviation Industry, Industrial Competence Assessment and Support Program / Industrial Participation and the Role of Clusters in the Development of Domestic and National Aviation Industry.”