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IDEX - A great opportunity for exchange of defence expertise: Al Suwaidi

posted on 12/03/2001: 2033 views

Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suweidi, Director General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, ECSSR, has said that the biannual International Defence Exhibition, IDEX, provides a great opportunity for world defence industries to display their latest defence technologies, adding that the exhibition also provides a conducive atmosphere and great opportunity for the exchange of expertise in the field of defence.

Al Suweidi made the remark in an interview held here today as part of the preparation for this year's defence exhibition, IDEX2001, which opens on March18 and ends on March22. On the standards of IDEX, Al Suweidi lauded the steady improvement of the exhibition, which, he said, was growing from strength to strength, adding that IDEX2001 meets all the requirements of a first class exhibition as it provides first class services to the world arms market and enables military decision makers to acquaint themselves with the latest products in weapon systems from different companies at one place.

He pointed out that the exhibition has become an important military forum, which draws experts, dignitaries and VIPs from all over the world, adding that the ECSSR has granted audience to a number visitors to the exhibition through the Centre's several objective programmes. Below is the full text of the interview with Dr. Al Suwaidi:

Q1: What is the impact of IDEX 2001 on the world defence industry? Do you think the exhibition serves the world arms market also?

A1: International defence exhibitions provide a good opportunity for world defence industries due to their effective impact on them from different angles. First, they display the latest defence technologies and provide knowledge of developments and technical and operational characteristics of each weaponry system which the world industries seeks to achieve.

Second, they provide the appropriate circumstances for exchange and expertise in the field of defence industries in order to improve performance, knowledge of markets, and the different interest of countries regarding the quality of required arms. At the same time, they provide an opportunity for comparison between the characteristics and specifications of different weapons.

IDEX 2001 meets all these requirements and provides first class services to world arms market. It also enables military decision makers to acquaint themselves with the latest products in weapon systems from different companies at one place.

Q2: What are the issues discussed by the Gulf Defence conference held in association with IDEX 2001? Who are the main speakers?

A2: Since its inception, the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies & Research has adopted several objectives and programmes, carried out through different activities, events, studies and publications. The Centre has also organised several conferences, seminars and lectures to build bridges of co-operation with specialised experts. The centre, in co-ordination with the General Exhibitions Corporation, and Jane's Information Group, will organise the Gulf Defence Conference 2001 under the title Facing Challenges: The core of GCC states Defence Polices? During March 19-20 2001, with the participation of senior officials, dignitaries and defence specialists in the Gulf region.

The conference will discuss threats looming in the region and the appropriate strategies to face them. Nine work papers, will be presented by specialised experts covering two main issues:

1.Assessment of threats in the Arab Gulf region.

2.Defence strategies to face these threats. The main speakers are: Sir Charles Jotheri, Dr. Kenneth Katzman, Dr. Juan Spear, Dr. Neil Patrick, Dr. Joseph Monihan, Brigadier Khaled Abdullah Al Bu Ainain, Dr. Saleh Al Manie and Colonel Mohammed Ahmed Al Hamed.

Q3: What are the economic and media benefits of these defence exhibitions to UAE?

A3: There are direct and indirect economic benefits from these exhibitions. The direct financial benefits come from the participation of different countries and companies and the associated services. Several commercial transactions are also made on the sidelines of the exhibition. The indirect economic benefits are reflected in the activation of the stock market, tourism and other small and medium size commercial business. On the other hand, the media benefits are more important than the economic and financial ones, as they consolidate the famous international position acquired by the UAE in the field of exhibitions, and the high level of services presented to visitors.

Q4: To what extent are the defence exhibitions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai compatible with the peaceful trends of the UAE?

A4: There is no conflict between defence exhibitions and peaceful trends, and these exhibitions do not represent any threat to peace and stability. Stability is mainly endangered by the conflict of political and economic interests, and the determination of one party to impose its authority on others. In such circumstances, the concerned parties are not in need of any defence exhibitions, and can use their own means to acquire arms.

On the other hand, there is no connection between acquiring arms and instability. There are several countries with huge defence arsenals and has never been part of a military conflict. On the contrary, a nation could become weak due to negligence of its defence needs, and that would prompt any irresponsible neighbouring country to impose its power and hegemony in the region.

Q5: for the first time the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research is engaged in organisation of the IDEX associated conference. Will this conference be the alternative to MILCON? And will the centre continue to play this role in the future?

A5: The centre is highly honoured to be assigned the responsibility of organising this conference, which is quite different form MILCON. The latter is concerned with the technical side of modern arms systems, while the Gulf Defence Conference 2001 will discuss the issues of security in the region in the form of a political, strategic and military perspective. So the conference is not a replacement to MILCON, and both of them have the same objectives. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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