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Announced International Fair of Weapons and Military Equipment "PARTNER 2023"

The upcoming 11th International Fair of Weapons and Military Equipment "PARTNER 2023" will be held from September 25th to 28th this year, as announced during today's press conference at the Belgrade Fair.

The Chief of the Defense Technologies Administration of the Material Resources Sector of the Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General Slavko Rakić, the Assistant Director of the Public Enterprise "Yugoimport-SDPR" for Commercial Affairs, Aleksandar Lijaković, and the Project Coordinator from the Belgrade Fair, Ljiljana Šoškić, spoke about the fair and what will be presented.

General Rakić pozdravio je okupljene u ime Ministarstva odbrane i najavljujući jednu od najvećih manifestacija, kada je reč o naoružanju i vojnoj opremi, istakao da više od dve decenije taj sajam beleži stalni uzlazni trend po broju izlagača, prikazanih sredstava, poslovnih saradnika i posetilaca, kao i po publicitetu koji dobija u domaćim i inostranim medijima. On je podsetio da je „PARTNER“ već 22 godine najveći i najznačajniji sajam naoružanja i vojne opreme u regionu.

"The global circumstances and the increasing complexity of the security situation in the region and the world have directly influenced the dynamic development of new combat systems for the needs of the Serbian Army, primarily aimed at enhancing the operational capabilities of the Serbian Army. These developments have simultaneously been recognized in the international market," emphasized General Rakić. He pointed out the accelerated progress since 2018 in terms of weaponry and military equipment development, during which 188 pieces of weaponry and military equipment have been introduced into the arsenal of our army, with only 52 being of the 'zero' series.

Since the previous "PARTNER 2021" fair, he added, the Military Technical Institute and the domestic defense industry of Serbia have developed 66 new items, out of which 21 are from the 'zero' series and have been successfully manufactured.

"A significant portion of these items will be showcased at the upcoming fair, allowing you to witness newly developed artillery-rocket systems, air defense systems, modernized combat vehicles, new armored vehicles, aircraft, unmanned aerial and ground platforms, anti-tank systems, communication systems, fire control systems, vehicles, as well as various types of guided and unguided missiles, and a wide range of modern weaponry and military equipment developed in previous years from domestic production," General Rakić highlighted.

As a result of this accelerated and successful development of the new generation of weaponry and military equipment between the two fairs, as he emphasized, contracts with the domestic industry for the needs of the Serbian Army have been secured at a value that surpasses the sum of contracts signed during the twenty-year period leading up to 2015.

"In just the past month, the Ministry of Defense has signed contracts with domestic factories for the procurement of weaponry valued at 6.2 billion dinars, which will be delivered to the Serbian Army in the coming period. Furthermore, the domestic industry, in collaboration with the public enterprise "Yugoimport-SDPR," has also signed another contract worth 3.5 billion dinars for export purposes. Before the start of the Fair, the signing of new contracts worth more than 4 billion dinars is anticipated, which is only a part of the intensified process of equipping the Serbian Army with domestically produced weaponry," stated the Chief of the Defense Technologies Administration.

As emphasized, the broader public will also have the opportunity to see a portion of modern combat systems that result from the significant equipping of the Serbian Army with complex imported systems.

"The "PARTNER" fair is viewed by the Ministry of Defense as a highly significant opportunity and a crucial mechanism for showcasing our achievements in the field of research, development, and production of weaponry, military equipment, defense technologies, as well as our country's potential for independent defense to both our national and international audiences. Apart from the companies belonging to the Defense Industry of Serbia group, which, along with the public enterprise "Yugoimport-SDPR," form the cornerstone of Serbian capabilities in the field of weaponry and military equipment, numerous other manufacturers of weaponry and military equipment from the Republic of Serbia will also be present at the upcoming exhibition," General Rakić emphasized.

He added that in line with the international character of the event and the growing international military-technical and military-economic cooperation with partner countries such as France, the United States, the People's Republic of China, and friendly nations from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, he anticipates a significant presence of foreign renowned exhibitors and manufacturers of weaponry and military equipment at the Fair this year.

Assistant Director of "Yugoimport-SDPR," Lijaković, emphasized that the company participates in the Fair within the framework of its three business missions. He highlighted that since its establishment, the first mission involves the integration of all capacities of the Serbian defense industry into the global market.

"This time, as before, we are integrating two main groups of our partners. One is the Defense Industry of Serbia, and the other is the group of our co-producers in the production of complex combat systems. We can say that this year, more than 50% of the exhibitors are participating under the auspices of "Yugoimport-SDPR" as the integrator, and we are particularly proud of that," said Lijaković.

Lijaković specifically emphasized the importance of the company's second mission – the production and development of complex combat systems. He then discussed the third mission – the equipping of the Serbian Army with domestically produced and imported resources.

""Yugoimport-SDPR" supports the Fair, and consequently the Ministry of Defense, in inviting and accrediting the participation of foreign manufacturers, both from the West and other countries. The global practice at these events is that companies looking to enter specific markets are usually present, and this presents a good opportunity for all countries interested in becoming our long-term suppliers for certain combat systems that we don't produce in Serbia. They can appear here and showcase their capabilities. "Srpska banka" is also participating in this year's Weapons and Military Equipment Fair within the framework of "Yugoimport-SDPR" as one of its subsidiary companies. It's a bank specifically focused on collaborating with companies from the Defense Industry of Serbia," added Assistant Director Lijaković.

Project Coordinator Ljiljana Šoškić emphasized that it's a great honor for the International Fair of Weapons and Military Equipment to be held at the Belgrade Fair. She highlighted that this event is the most significant of its kind in Southeast Europe.

"As significant as production is, the promotion of the Serbian defense industry is equally important, and it's the most comprehensive at the Fair. This event provides an opportunity to showcase all the potentials of the Serbian defense industry to the broader public, along with eminent global manufacturers of weaponry and military equipment," said the representative from the Belgrade Fair. She emphasized that since its inception, each subsequent edition of the "PARTNER" fair has been an improvement in all aspects - in terms of the number and significance of both domestic and foreign exhibitors, the size of the exhibition space, the technological level of exhibits, the presence of international delegations, and the number of visitors.

More than 120 domestic and international exhibitors will present their product range during the four days of the fair. Expert forums and panel discussions will also be organized, providing military experts the opportunity to showcase achievements and ideas, as well as exchange experiences in the field of defense technology.

The patron of the "PARTNER 2023" event is the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia. On one hand, this sponsorship aims to showcase the scientific, research, testing, overhaul, and educational capabilities of its institutions, and on the other hand, to fulfill the needs of the Serbian Army. The event is organized by the Belgrade Fair, with "Yugoimport-SDPR" serving as a co-organizer, as it has in previous years.

The International Fair of Weapons and Military Equipment "PARTNER" takes place biennially at the Belgrade Fair. It serves as an opportunity for manufacturers of weaponry and military equipment to present their products, establish contacts and collaborations, and reposition themselves in the markets of Southeast Europe and the world.