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UK largest exhibitor at IDEX 2001

posted on 14/03/2001: 1390 views

The United Kingdom is once again the largest exhibitor at IDEX 2001, with more than 100 companies participating, demonstrating the UK's interest in doing business in the UAE and the importance its places on this significant event in the defence calendar, according to a statement issued today by the British Embassy.

The British Government is fully supporting the event, emphasising the importance that the UK attaches to its relationship with the UAE and the GCC states, the embassy statement said. The official UK delegation will be headed by the Minister of State for Defence Procurement Baroness Symons and will include the Head of Defence Exports Tony Edwards, his military deputy Rear Admiral John Tolburst and a number of senior UK military personnel. A modern Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate, HMS Lancaster, will be berthed at Mina Zayed during the exhibition.

A demonstration team from the British Army will take a stand at the British Partnership pavilion in Hall 7 to demonstrate UK made equipment, including state of the art battle simulation equipment, the embassy said. While some of the most famous UK company names of previous IDEX exhibitions have disappeared in the world-wide welter of defence company mergers - among them Marconi into BAE Systems and Shorts into Thales, some 50 others are maintaining stands at the event,' the statement said. In total, around 100 UK companies are participating including those represented on the Army demonstration area, it added.

Tony Edwards, Head of Defence Exports said: "IDEX 2001 is the major exhibition in the Middle East defence calendar. We see it as a way of further promoting the quality of UK defence exports and our desire to work together to meet defence requirements with our friends and partners in the UAE, the GCC and the rest of the world,” according to the statement. "The IDEX series of exhibitions has become most important. The unparalleled excellence of visiting delegations enables the UK industry to promote its products to the best possible audience," Edwards added.

Major General (retd) Alan Sharman, Director General of the UK defence trade body, the Defence Manufacturers Association, pointed out that the UK defence industry, the largest in Europe and second only to America in the world, has developed close links through partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions with defence industries world-wide. "It is for this reason that the DMA has launched, for the first time at IDEX, the Partnership Pavilion concept, so that not only UK companies, but their international partners can exhibit comfortably together," the embassy statement added.

Robert Anderson, defence expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said IDEX has become one of the UAE's civilisation landmarks and a global defence show. He said that the event, which bring together defence officials of super powers, CEOs of major companies in global weapons industry and defence experts and strategists, is gaining increasing importance not only to the UAE only but also to the exhibitors. Anderson, an ex-advisor at the British Defence Department, said the largest participation of Britain reflects London's growing interest in deepening its relations with the UAE, taking into account the latest developments in the Gulf country. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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