Announcement – International Defense Exhibition “PARTNER 2023”
The Exhibition was announced by the Head of the Defense Technologies Department of the Material Resources Sector within the Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General Slavko Rakic, by Assistant Director for Commercial Affairs of Jugoimport-SDPR J. P., Aleksandar Lijakovic, and by Belgrade Fair Project Coordinator, Ljiljana Soskic.
General Rakic welcomed the audience on behalf of the Ministry of Defense, announcing one of the biggest armaments and defense events. He underlined the fact that the Exhibition has been on a constant upward trend for more than two decades, with respect to the number of exhibitors and exhibits, business partners and visitors, and to the publicity it gets in the local and international media. He also reminded the public that “PARTNER” has been the biggest and the most significant defense exhibition in the region for the past 22 years.
The General explained that the state of affairs in the world and the ever more complex security situation in the region had a direct impact on a more dynamic development of new combat systems for the Serbian Armed Forces. This priority task is aimed at increasing the operational capability of the Serbian defense forces, but the efforts are recognized, added the General, on foreign markets as well, as 188 weapons and defense products (of which 52 are pilot lots) have been introduced since 2018, indicating accelarted progress.
As a result of a speedy and successful development of a new generation of weapons and defense equipment between the two defense exhibitions, the Armed Forces have signed contracts with the Serbian defense companies worth more than all the contracts in the twenty years up to 2015, as was pointed out by General Rakic.
During the “Partner 2023“ Exhibition, the general public will have a chance to see some of the sophisticated combat systems imported in the capital procurement process for the Serbian Armed Forces. Besides the companies belonging to the Serbian Defense Industry Group, representing, along with Jugoimport-SDPR J. P., the backbone of the Serbian defense capabilities, the forthcoming exhibition will also host a number of other defense manufacturers from the Republic of Serbia.
In light of its international status and the growing international military-technical and military-economic cooperation with our partners from France, the Unites States of America, the People’s Republic of China and the friendly countries from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, this “Partner” is expected to entertain a significant number of foreign exhibitors and defense manufacturers.
Mr. Lijakovic, Assistant Director in Jugoimport-SDPR, accentuated that the company will appear at the Exhibition in the context of its main three business missions. The first one, maintained by Jugoimport since its beginnings, refers to the commercial and marketing integration of all Serbian defense industry capacities on the global market. From day one, Jugoimport has applied its vast experience, gained in the decades-long participation in international exhibitions, where it continues to take active part, to help make “Partner” an attractive modern event.
At this year’s “Partner”, Jugoimport will, as always, appear as an integrator of the two main groups of its partners: the Serbian Defense Industry and Jugoimport’s subcontractors in the manufacture of complex combat systems. More than 50% of exhibitors this year will be under the umbrella of Jugoimport-SDPR as a defense industry integrator.
Mr. Lijakovic also pointed out that despite fierce international competition, Jugoimport operated successfully, managing to line up with the big global players, particularly in the area of complex artillery systems (e.g. „Nora“). The Serbian defense industry had similar results, becoming a global defense manufacturer and vendor (especially for ammunition – rockets and conventional mortar shells).
In his speech, Mr. Lijakovic also brought the second Jugoimport’s mission to the foreground – the company’s commitment to develop and produce complex combat systems for the Serbian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior and for export.
A range of products (around 50) from the category of complex combat systems, will be at display in different variants: several models of the armored vehicles “Milos” and “Lazar”, artillery equipment (shown earlier, but now some of it is modified) and the SP Howitzer „Nora“ (including the variant that was presented for the first time in the United States). Additionally, some new artillery and rocket/missile systems will be shown, such as MLRS Tamnava (122/262 mm), guided rockets, modern variants of the so called loitering ammunition – projectile drones (e.g. Gavran) designed as top-notch equipment on international level etc.
At the end, Mr. Lijakovic referred briefly to the company’s third mission – its commitment to equip the Serbian Armed Forces with local and foreign products. He pointed out that Jugoimport is doing its best to support “Partner” and the Ministry of Defense in inviting and accrediting foreign manufacturers from the Western and other countries for their participation in the exhibition. It is an established practice that companies wishing to approach a specific market take part in relevant exhibitions, so “Partner” is a good opportunity for all the countries intending to become our long-term suppliers of combat systems not produced in Serbia to show up and present their capabilities.
The Project Coordinator, Ms. Ljiljana Soskic said she was honoured to organize the International Defense Exhibition at the Belgrade Fair, and underlined that it is the most important event of this kind in the South-Eastern Europe where the general public has a chance not only to see the potentials of the Serbian defense industry, but also the defense equipment of all the prominent global manufacturers. She also indicated that “PARTNER” has become better each time, and in every respect, as can be seen from the number and significance of domestic and foreign exhibitors, the size of the exhibition space, the technological level of exhibited products, and the number of visitors and visiting international delegations.
More than 120 local and foreign exhibitors will present their product portfolios in the course of this four-day show, and the event will also offer professional forums and panel discussions where military specialists would be able to talk about their ideas and achievements, and to exchange their knowledge in the area of defense technology.
The sponsor of „PARNTER 2023“ is the Serbian Ministry of Defense, which has an interest to present the scientific, research, testing, overhaul and educational capabilities of its institutions on the one side, and also to meet the needs of the Serbian Armed Forces on the other. The event is organized by the Belgrade Fair in cooperation with Jugoimport-SDPR as in the previous years.
The International Defense Exhibition “PARTNER” is held biannually at the Belgrade Fair, as an opportunity for defense manufacturers to present themselves, establish new contacts and cooperation, and position themselves in the South-East Europe and on the global market as well.