On Wednesday, 10 April 2019, the Minister of National Defence Evangelos Apostolakis attended a press conference for the organisation of the defence exhibition entitled “DEFENCE EXHIBITION ATHENS” (DEFEA).
The event was held at the Armed Forces Officers’ Club in Athens by the Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material Association (SEKPY) and ROTA S.A. Trade Show Organising.
DEFEA defence exhibition is scheduled to be held in Athens during the summer of 2020 under the auspices of the Ministry of National Defence.
The Minister of National Defence in his address stated the following:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure and it gives me great satisfaction to be here with you today in this event for the organisation of the 1st Defence Exhibition Athens in June 2020.
I would like to thank the President and Managing Director of ROTA S.A., Mr. Tsaousoglou, as well as the President of the SEKPY, Mr. Anastasios Rozolis, for their invitation.
I would also like to congratulate them for their initiative to organise the Exhibition. Such an Exhibition should have been held in Greece a long time ago and its purpose is to highlight and promote the country’s actual capabilities both in terms of organisation and in the field of defence industry.
It is clear that only positive benefits can derive from such partnerships.
You should bear in mind that we are promoting partnerships, the exchange of knowhow and the updating on modern technological developments in defence technology. It is something that we want and we are constantly seeking. We are outward-looking and we support research and cutting-edge technology.
There is no doubt that the exhibition will be a useful tool for the presentation to the general public of the latest things that are available on the global market in the field of technology, justifying fully the assertion that the development of defence systems constitutes the driving force of technology.
We also contribute to the highlighting of the developments in the defence industry on the global map. We bring our defence industry to the fore and we help it to find its place on this map.
At the same time, we boost the Greek defence industry through the conclusion of new business partnerships and their interconnection with the global market. In this way, we strengthen directly the Greek economy and we confirm its course towards recovery.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is well known that Greece is situated in a region of particularly high geopolitical importance. Consequently, we are obliged to maintain a powerful Armed Force.
The only way to have a powerful Armed Force is to have a strong defence industry. These concepts are closely related.
We are quite aware that the meeting of our needs through the domestic defence manufacturing has added value that gains strategic importance. It is of strategic importance, because it promotes research, it strengthens the economy and the possibility of developing domestic technology and it creates the conditions for retaining highly specialised technical and scientific human resources in the country.
In this context, we remain committed to, or rather demand, the Greek participation in any armament programme. We have already done so in practice to the maximum extent and we will continue to do so.
We have managed through targeted and methodical movements to clearly demonstrate that the relationship between the Armed Forces and defence material manufacturing companies is not a relationship of subordination. It is a relationship built on respect, cooperation and transparency, which may and should be beneficial for both sides.
You are aware that we have taken steps for some time now to bring the needs and requirements of the Armed Forces that affect the country’s material security interests and the capabilities of the domestic defence industry closer together.
In order to achieve even better results, we only need to keep on taking firm and decisive steps, based on strategic planning. For this reason, the partnership and the coordination of the efforts of the State, the Government, the Ministry of National Defence, but also private initiative is required. And this takes place. Through the organisation of the Defence Exhibition Athens, another decisive step is made towards that direction.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am telling you that the exhibition is intended to fill a gap. It is a very important event that will bring people from all over the world to Greece. It is an exhibition that indicates that Greece is still at the fore of technology and partnership.
This is the reason why I have been telling all along that the Ministry of National Defence will assist with all its powers with this project and the Exhibition was brought under our Auspices. You have our full support.
I wish you every success.