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29.5. - 1.6. 2019

International Fire Fighting Equipment and Services Fair

IDET launched by President Zeman and Minister Stropnický

 

Defence expenditure should rise and Czech armaments companies should be supported, guests at the official opening of the 14th IDET International Fair agreed.


Attendance by the Minister of Defense at the opening ceremony of IDET has already become a tradition, but this year, for the first time in history, the President of the Czech Republic also  appeared. Both Martin Stropnický and Miloš Zeman agreed that it is necessary to increase defence spending in the current challenging international situation, and IDET is an ideal opportunity to show the citizens what the armed forces are and what the taxpayers’ money goes to. "The army and the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic significantly cooperate on IDET, I take it as a matter of course and I will especially like IDET to be visited by as many citizens as possible. IDET has several dimensions, and first of all I want to say how important it is for our citizens to know they have an army, what it does, how it is armed – to know what their taxes go to. In today's rather complicated security situation, this is all the more important," Minister Stropnický said and continued, "As you all know, modernization of the army is under way. In the past two years, we have a solid budget that enabled us to develop the forces, and I will do everything to keep this development going." He stressed the commitment to increase defence spending to 1.4% of GDP by 2020, and in the next five years up to 2% of GDP. "Sometimes I'm asked where this money is going and who is forcing us to spend so much on defence. Nobody forces us, it is our word of honour, it is in our favour, and this money is not going anywhere, it is designated for our army. There is pressure on us to be more capable and stronger in the development, in the headcount, armament and capabilities of our soldiers," said the minister. Effective acquisitions to be done by the army were also supported by President Zeman, who considers the pace of increasing investment in defence too low. "With the modesty so typical for me, I would like to remind you that in the course of my four-year term as prime minister, the Czech Republic, in more difficult economic conditions, dedicated 2% of GDP to defence, nobody was surprised and nobody particularly boasted about it because they considered it a matter of course, "the President remarked.

Both speakers also mentioned cooperation with the Czech defence and security industry. Martin Stropnický reminded that the Ministry, in support of Czech companies, organizes 27 missions this year, during which 40 countries will be visited. "We know that for our manufacturers it is a reference when their products are used by our army. Our strategy is to buy everything that can be done at home, and I want this to continue in the future." The minister also stressed that our arms industry was doing very well, exported a value of CZK 7.6 billion in 2013, while last year it was almost 20 billion. "I congratulate you for these achievements and I wish all our entrepreneurs and manufacturers, as well as soldiers and organizers, that this year’s IDET be very successful," Stropnický concluded.

President Zeman also highlighted the high quality of the Czech arms industry companies and supported the idea that arms and equipment for the Czech Army should be supplied mainly by Czech companies. "It was my pleasure to accept the invitation to IDET, because I think the arms industry is like every other industry, and arms exporters have to be supported like any other exporters,"  he said at the opening, and pointed out also at the biggest current barrier to arms exports. "Licensing policy sometimes inappropriately restricts our exports to so-called safe or non-embargoed countries, on the pretext that there is a risk of re-exporting to countries not so safe. I always say – what is your point? You are exporting to safe countries, and what the safe countries will do next, it is their problem, not ours, "said Miloš Zeman. Finally, he wished the Czech army and the Czech arms industry a lot of success and assured them with his full support.

On behalf of the organizing company Trade Fairs Brno, its CEO Jiří Kuliš also spoke at the opening ceremony. In his speech, he thanked all partners, headed by the Ministry of Defence, for their cooperation, and underlined the growing importance of security fairs in the context of the tense international situation. "These fairs are a service for both parties. The defence and security industry can transparently offer its latest technology to security forces, and at the same time security forces can choose the best that is available on the market to enhance our security. Unfortunately, an ideal world of goodness does not exist. That is why there must be army, security forces and security fairs. I believe that the IDET/PYROS/ISET fairs will contribute to the strengthening of our security. "

The opening ceremony took place on the open area  in front of Hall P and was accompanied by a flyover of air force squadrons of the Army of the Czech Republic; the line-up consisted of C-295 CASA, JAS-39 Gripen and L 159 ALCA aircraft. The ribbon was ceremonially cut by Miloš Zeman, Martin Stropnický and Jiří Kuliš along with the Chief of Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic Josef Bečvář, 1st Deputy Police President Martin Vondrášek, Deputy Managing Director of HZS ČR František Zadina and the President of the Defence and Security Industry Association Jiří Hynek. Besides  other guests, representatives of army delegations from fifteen countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and South America attended the opening ceremony.

Datum: 31 May 2017 17:15:00

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