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IDEF 2017 - 13th International Defense Industry Fair Gathers the Giants of Defense

13th International Defense Industry Fair was held on 09-12 May 2017 at the TÜYAP Fair and Congress Center in Büyükçekmece/İstanbul with the participation of 820 companies consisting of 503 foreign and 317 local companies from 50 countries

The opening of the event was conducted by Prime Minister Mr. Binali Yıldırım and 133 delegations, 637 delegation members, 1 President, 26 Ministers, 6 Chiefs of General Staff, 17 Deputy Ministers, 5 Deputy Chiefs of Defense, 10 Force Commanders, 14 Undersecretaries and many civil and military procurement authorities from 67 countries attended the event. 

At the ceremony launched by Prime Minister Mr. Binali Yıldırım, following initial remarks made by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation’s (TAFF) Deputy General Manager Mr. Sadık Piyade: “For the first time, this year our event is being executed under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey and is hosted by the Ministry of National Defense and organized under the management and responsibility of TAFF. The fact that our event is being conducted this year especially under the auspices of our President, has honored and strengthened us. In order to develop both at home and abroad defense cooperation opportunities, negotiations between Turkish Procurement Authorities - Delegations - Participant Companies are planned throughout the event. During the previous event, over 2000 negotiations were accomplished at the IDEF. We assess that this fair will also become a platform for an intense traffic of negotiations and I would like to welcome you all.”

Undersecretary for Defense Industries Prof. İsmail Demir said, “Global geopolitical developments altered the definition of ‘security’ and ‘power’ concepts in the new strategic environment. Within this framework, in line with the goals set for ambitious vision of 2023, by further developing our existing capabilities in Defense and Security technologies, we proceed with firm steps towards becoming a leader and pioneer country in international platforms and a country that fulfils its requirements mostly through indigenous and domestic facilities under the guidance of your esteemed selves. As the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, we have been conducting 460 projects as of 2016. The total worth of our bound by contract projects reached up to $ 123 billion TL (est. $ 35 billion) and the total size of our potential projects volume went up to 200 billion TL ( est. $ 57 billion). Our defense industry reached a production capacity exceeding 21 billion TL (est. $ 6 billion) and export figure exceeding 6 billion TL ( est. $ 1,7 billion)  as of 2016. Our defense industry transformed into an indigenous structure with the participation of over a thousand companies, SMEs, research institutions and universities. Two of our companies exist among the worldwide top 100 Defense Industry companies. Our companies are ascending to success rating pear year at this list. We are conducting our cooperation and export activities with friendly and allied countries at all regions of the world. Within the scope of the international cooperation and export activities conducted under the auspices of our Undersecretariat, our country’s promotion is performed while the cooperation processes with the allied countries are being developed. The cooperation built up with the relevant countries in defense industry is crucial in respect of strengthening our existing political relations as well. The progress displayed by the Turkish Defense Industry in the recent years accomplished in the enhancing demand for our companies’ platforms, systems, sub-systems and capabilities in overseas markets in various fields. The platforms and systems that were manufactured by local companies and that used by Turkish Armed Forces and proved themselves in the field will be displayed at the IDEF ‘17 fairground. Therefore, we believe that the IDEF ‘17 event is a highly important platform for promoting our unique capabilities on a global scale and for developing new collaboration opportunities.”

Later taking the floor, Minister of National Defense Mr. Fikri Işık said briefly: “Each country’s specialization in areas aligning with its own capabilities will both result in more contribution to that country’s and world economy. However, there are certain sectors such as Defense, Energy and Food in which every society’s seizing a level to fulfil its own demands is a key role. In the past, Turkey endured severe problems in this respect, particularly in Defense Industry. In the beginning of 2000s, Local content was insufficient and 80 percent of the Turkish Defense Industry was subjected to involvement abroad. With the vision and leadership of our Dear President, Turkey has made an inversion of that course in a short span of time. We initiated our journey with the aim of attain the top 10 most developed countries in World Defense Industry. We are proceeding with firm and powerful steps towards that end. Today our Defense Industry has transformed into an indigenous structure with the participation of over a thousand companies, SMEs, research institutes and universities. The rate of fulfilling Turkish Armed Forces’ requirements through indigenous products has reached up to 60% level. Our sector generate over 60,000 qualified employment opportunities in this period.  The annual turnover of our Defense Industry sector exceeded $ 5 billion as of last year and our exports accomplished reached $ 1.678 billion.”

Prime Minister Mr. Binali Yıldırım addressed the topic of participation in the opening ceremony and said:  “International Defense Industry Fair, 13th of which is being organized this year, has been continuing as an extremely successful and model event since 1993. With the courtesy of your intense interest, this event has become one of the leading gathering platforms of the Turkish and worldwide Defense Industry. Today, in respect to the number of participants we are hosting the world’s fifth greatest Defense Industry Fair. Besides, this year many novelties have been brought in. This year’s organization is being realized under the auspices of our Dear President. And this year, for the first time, there will be the promotion stands of our Land, Naval and Air Forces Command at the event. Moreover, the newly manufactured local and unique defense weapon systems will be unveiled and promoted at the fair for the first time. I congratulate all our institutions and associations that contributed to the realization of this fruitful event. I would like to thank all the representatives of the domestic and foreign defense industry for their participation as well. 

Our local participation rate, which was only 20% 15 years ago, now has reached up to 60%. Currently, with the participation of over a thousand companies, SMEs, research institutions and universities, a Defense Industry infrastructure having gained a national structure has been achieved. The turnover of the sector increased to 20 billion TL from 1 billion TL. The export rate of our Defense Industry in 2002 was merely $ 250 million and taking a look at 2016, we achieved an annual production capacity exceeding $ 5.9 billion and $ 1.67 billion of export capacity. We enhanced the share we allocated to the R&D expenses to 20 billion TL from 1.8 billion TL. Our number of R&D personnel reached 123,000 from 29,000. Presently, the share of the R&D expenses within the Gross Domestic Product is 1.06% where it was 0.53% in 2002. We achieved a two fold increase and our goal is to increase it further to 2.5%. We wish to reach this target by 2023 as well. This year we are executing a total of 460 Defense Projects and the budget we manage in these projects is 123 billion TL.”

Throughout the event where intergovernmental and G2G negotiations and negotiations between various levels of delegations and companies were conducted and a total of 2,240 appointment negotiations, stand visits and nearly 50 signing ceremonies were held. In 2017, a total of 65,782 visitors composed of 60,754 local and 5,028 abroad from 116 countries visited the fair displaying immense interest. 

The 14th IDEF is planned to be organized in Istanbul with a broad participation again on 7-10 May 2019.