IDEAS 2008 Exhibition

Arms fair opens today


By Jamil Khan | KARACHI


THE five-day event of arms, ammunition and combat equipments, International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2008 will begin today (Monday) with the aim to be one of the biggest events in the history of Pakistan.

Around 94 local firms are participating in the event along with hundreds of companies from 58 different countries. IDEAS is an exhibition that brings together local and international manufactures and buyers at the Expo Centre to view the finest defence materials that give maximum security to law enforcement agencies including police, rangers and army officials of the five corps.

Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) Director General Major General Muhammad Farooq briefed the media and highlighted the salient features of the exhibition on Sunday.

“The platform of IDEAS 2008 provides an opportunity to demonstrate Pakistan’s defence capabilities, technical strengths and other related skills, training and services. It gives the chance to various groups to explore the possibility for cooperation and joint ventures and collaboration in the field of defence production,” he said.

Farooq mentioned that the response from foreign and local firms in the current exhibition was higher when compared to the IDEAS that was held in 2006. Around 221 leading defence manufacturers from 27 different countries took part in the event, of which 148 foreign and 73 domestic companies also displayed their products.

“This year we booked all the space available at the Expo Center Karachi to accommodate 256 defence companies from 58 countries from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Far East, China, Turkey and Africa,” he said.

Shedding light on the objective of IDEAS 2008, he said that Pakistan has proved its organizational skills by arranging such a huge event in Karachi. “The major objective of holding such events is to build Pakistan’s image as a moderate, tolerant and cooperative nation that is committed to boost its defence capacity,” he said.

He, however, said that other features the event is holding seminars and meetings between the delegates form within and outside Pakistani firms. DG Farooq said that they were adopting self-reliant options when it came to holding such projects and not taking a single penny from the national exchequer. “We don’t want to be a burden on the public’s money,” he said.

He also announced that the most important feature of the current exhibition was displaying, for the first time, the JF-17 Thunder fighter plane, which is a proud co-production of the Pakistan Defence Industry and China.

To a question he stated that during the previous exhibitions, various foreign delegates showed an interest in the indigenous products including the Al-Khalid tank, however, he added that currently the local defence industry is putting all its effort into addressing the local orders of the Pakistan Army and making it self-sufficient.

He appreciated the support rendered by the armed forces, the federal, provincial and city government as well as the people of Karachi for their warm hearted hospitality, help and support wherever it was needed in the event.

The exhibition will be held from 5am to 10am, the roads surrounding the Expo Center will be sealed for all traffic expect the delegates and visitors who have been issued passes by the organizers.

-Published in Daily Times | Nov 24, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on November 26, 2008.

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