Industrial forum of French and Serbian producers of Arms and Military Equipment
In the context of the 6th annual meeting in the field of armament between the defence ministries of Serbia and France, the Industrial forum of French and Serbian businessmen – manufacturers of armaments was held today at the Military Technical Institute.
The meeting was attended by H.E. Mrs Christine Moro, French Ambassador to Serbia, Mr Nenad Miloradović, PhD, Assistant Minister for Material Resources, Major General Prof. Bojan Zrnić, Head of the Defence Technology Department, Colonel Yves-Marie Gourlin, Executive Director of the Directorate General for Armaments of the French Republic, representatives of the Development Agency of the Republic of Serbia and the GIFAS Consortium.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Miloradović pointed out that the traditional friendship and excellent bilateral relations between Serbia and France represent a strong and stable foundation for further development and promotion of cooperation between the two countries. Therefore, as he said, this gathering, which is primarily oriented towards the future industrial cooperation, has a special friendly dimension.
- I am convinced that the previously established trust and understanding, as well as previous results allow some new joint projects to begin and to be implemented effectively, efficiently and to the mutual satisfaction – the Assistant Minister said.
Miloradović pointed out that the Serbian defence industry records every year significant positive results through an increase in total exports, which gives us the right "to be satisfied with the achieved" and from that "to draw energy that drives further development."
- I believe that, in the forthcoming period, we can do even more. We expect through this cooperation to acquire new knowledge and technologies through the inclusion of our company in the network of suppliers of the French companies and the increase in exports. We can also offer a significant research and development capacities in the Military Technical Institute as well as other civilian institutions – the Assistant Minister of Defence said and stressed that what is expected from today’s sharing of information is to jointly identify potential opportunities for cooperation in the future.
The industrial forum, dedicated to the exchange of opinions of large industrial armament production companies between the two countries, was opened by the French Ambassador Christine Moro. She recalled the long tradition of cooperation between Serbia and France – since 1853, when the Cannon Foundry was founded in Kragujevac, the forerunner of "Zastava" factories, after education of the Serbian officers in France.
- Much more than just customers and suppliers, France and Serbia continue to be partners and to use the complementarity of their productions to the mutual interest – the Ambassador said and pointed out that such annual meetings can improve interoperability between the armed forces of the two countries, which is particularly important for the engagement at the theatres of operations, where Serbian and French troops are deployed – the French Ambassador to Serbia said.
She also pointed out that she was convinced that the exchange of opinions and work during the two days of the 6th Franco-Serbian meeting in the field of armaments will be fruitful and will allow to maintain the dynamics of relations in the field of armaments between Serbia and France.
The Industrial Forum discussed also the upcoming International Air Show in Bourget, which will be held in June next year and the "Partner 2017" Arms and Military Equipment Trade Fair in Belgrade.
At today's meeting at the Military Technical Institute, ten French manufacturers of armaments presented their work and there were twenty Serbian companies in this field.