POLITICS & POLICY

 

PROFILE AFRAH SHAFQUAT
COLUMN FOR THE RECORD
POLITICS & POLICY 1- IDEAS 2002
2- PRESIDENT VISITS US
EDUCATION  BUSINESS SCHOOLS: STEP WELL TAKEN

 

IDEAS 2002

 

The events has already achieved a well-deserved popularity and prominence in the defence market

 

From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI, 
Islamabad

Sep 16 - 22, 2002

After the thumping success of IDEAS 2001 the second International Defence Exhibition (IDEAS 2002) will be inaugurated by President General Musharraf in Karachi on Sept. 16. Some 35 countries around the globe have confirmed their participation in the 4 day exhibition and seminar.

According to an spokesman of the organizers, the response received from exhibitors and foreign delegations has been more positive than the last event. The participation has been confirmed from 35 delegations so far, including China, Brazil, Ukraine, France, UAE, Brunei, Turkmenistan, Jordan, UK, Azerbaijan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kuwait, Turkey, Qatar and Spain. The shows has also been able to attract official visitors from the defence ministries which include France, Belgium, Switzerland and UK in addition to trade visitors from as far away as Australia, the official said.

The formal inauguration ceremony and the international defence seminar on 'Emerging Security Environment in Asia', scheduled for September 16, will be followed by the four-day exhibition, where exhibitors and visitors from across the world are converging to be a part of one of the largest defence exhibitions in South Asia.

'IDEAS 2002' will bring international manufacture and suppliers together for their products and services to explore the opportunity for cooperation in the field of defence production and facilitate the commonality of weapons and equipment for the ease of integration of multinational forces. The events has already achieved a well-deserved popularity and prominence in the defence market internationally and would now further pave the way towards mutual understanding and cooperation between the nations jointly involved in serving the global cause of peace where Pakistan keeps playing its dominant role in the Asian region.

Maj. Gen. Syed Ali Hamid, Director General Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) while briefing the newsmen said that IDEAS 2002 will be held at a much larger scale this year and more than 40 official military and defence delegations are expected to visit the exhibition. The exhibition has been able to attract increased participation by the foreign defence manufacturers as well as the domestic public and private manufacturing sector, he added.

The International Defence Exhibition Seminar will be attended by prominent scholars from Asian. The seminar will comprise two sessions, providing in-depth information on 'Asian Security Scenario' and 'Asian Defence Market' while discussing the "Emerging Security Environment in Asia" as a whole. Approximately 600 invitees are expected to attend the seminar, he said. Gen Hamid said that the inauguration ceremony would be attended by more than 1500 guests, including delegates, members of diplomatic corps, executives and representatives of trade orgnisations and the exhibitors.

In addition, Maj Gen Syed Ali Hamid also briefed the press on the firing demonstration.

Explaining the background of IDEAS 2000 Lt. Gen Abdul Qayyum, Chairman Ordnance Factories (POF) the pioneer of Pakistan Defence Industry, said that the September 11, 2001 incident in the United States, followed by slapping of tough sanctions by several big powers, ended in Pakistan adopting a new course of action which accelerated the production of arms and ammunitions and exports to some 50 countries.

"Pakistan's exports of arms and ammunitions, which are handled by Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) headed by Major General Ali Hamid on government-to-government levels, have already risen to more than $10 million and orders for $37 million are in the pipeline."

The IDEAS 2002 will have 120 stalls including 50 per cent set up by 55 countries, the General said and added: "The response is very good as far as our expectations are concerned. We are highly satisfied with the participation". "The commercial sales have increased more than 100 per cent in the last three or four years," he said. "Quality, quality and quality is the hallmark of POF's production line which will be displayed at the prestigious IDEAS 2002", said chief of the POF, of which directly and indirectly provides huge opportunities to private sector providing 638 items to the factory, POF chief added.

The IDEAS 2000, a brainchild of President Musharraf, was organised by the DEPO for the first time two years ago at the Expo Centre as Pakistan launched relentless efforts to increase exports and build up the much-needed foreign exchange reserves, which plummeted to abysmally low levels following detonations of atomic bombs on May 28, 1998. Dozens of foreign experts who visited the defence products' exhibition in 2000 vehemently acknowledged the quality and precision that triggered the exports and the DEPO is constantly getting orders from abroad for the Pakistan made arms and ammunitions.

Because of high quality of the arms and ammunitions, the DEPO exports have increased to some 40 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland, Singapore, Turkey, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.