International Arms and Military Equipment Fair PARTNER “2023” announced

The upcoming 11th International Arms and Military Equipment Fair "PARTNER 2023" will be held from September 25 to 28, it was announced at today's media conference at the Belgrade Fair.
  Brigadier General Slavko Rakić, Head of the Defence Technologies Department, Material Resources Sector, Ministry of Defence, Assistant Director for Commercial Affairs at PE "Yugoimport-SDPR", Aleksandar Lijaković, and the Belgrade Fair’s Project Coordinator Ljiljana Šoškić, spoke about the fair and what will be presented.
General Rakić greeted the audience on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and, announcing one of the biggest events involving weapons and military equipment, said that for more than two decades there has been a continuous upward trend in the number of exhibitors, assets displayed, business associates and visitors, and the publicity the fair receives in local and foreign media. He reminded that "PARTNER" has been the largest and most important arms and military equipment fair in the region for 22 years.
- Global circumstances and an increasingly complex security situation in the region and the world have directly influenced the dynamic development of new combat systems that the Serbian Armed Forces need, with a primary goal of increasing the operational capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces, which have simultaneously become recognized on the foreign market - stressed General Rakić, highlighting the accelerated progress in the development of weapons and military equipment since 2018. Since then, 188 weapons and items of military equipment have entered service at the Serbian Armed Forces, only 52 of which fall under the "zero" series.
Since the previous "PARTNER 2021" fair alone, he added, the Military Technical Institute and the Serbian Defence Industry have developed 66 new assets, 21 of which "zero" series that have been successfully produced.

- Most of these assets will be on display at the upcoming fair, so you will be able to see newly developed artillery-missile systems, air defence systems, modernized combat vehicles, new armoured vehicles, aircraft, unmanned aerial and ground platforms, anti-armour systems, telecommunications and fire control systems, vehicles, as well as different types of guided and unguided missiles and a wide range of modern domestically produced weapons and military equipment developed earlier - emphasized General Rakić.

As a result of the accelerated and successful development of next generation weapons and military equipment that has taken place since the previous fair, he said, contracts have been made with the domestic industry to produce equipment for the Serbian Armed Forces the value of which exceeds the value of all the contracts signed in the twenty-year period prior to 2015.
- Last month alone, the Ministry of Defence signed contracts with domestic factories for the delivery of RSD 6.2 billion worth of weapons, which will be delivered to the Serbian Armed Forces in the coming period. In addition, domestic industry has signed another contract worth RSD 3.5 billion with PE "Yugoimport-SDPR" for export purposes. Before the arms fair starts, the signing of new contracts worth more than RSD 4 billion is expected, which is only a part of the intensified process of supplying the Serbian Armed Forces with domestically produced weapons - said the Head of the Defence Technologies Department.
The general public, he said, will also get the chance to see some of the modern combat systems that are the result of a capital project to equip the Serbian Armed Forces with imported complex systems.
- The Ministry of Defence views "PARTNER" as a great opportunity and an important mechanism for presenting to our public and the public all over the world our achievements in the research, development and production of weapons, military equipment and defence technology, as well as the potential of our country to defend itself on its own. Besides the companies that belong to the Serbian Defence Industry Group, which together with PE "Yugoimport-SDPR" represents Serbia’s main potential in the field of armaments and military equipment, many other Serbian weapons and military equipment manufacturers will also appear at the upcoming fair – stressed General Rakić.

Due to an international character of the event and a growing trend in international military-technical and military-economic cooperation with partner countries such as France, the United States, the People's Republic of China and friendly countries in the Near and Middle East, Asia and Africa, he expects that this year a substantial number of renowned foreign exhibitors and manufacturers of weapons and military equipment will appear at the Fair.
  Assistant Director at "Yugoimport-SDPR" Lijaković said that the company is participating at the Fair as part of its three business missions, the first one being the integration of all capacities of the Serbian Defence Industry with the world market.
- This time, as before, we are integrating our two main partner groups. The first one is the Serbian Defence Industry, and the other one is a group of our subcontractors involved in the production of complex combat systems. We can say that this year more than 50 percent of the participants are exhibiting under the umbrella of "Yugoimport-SDPR" as an integrator, and we are particularly proud of that - said Lijaković.
Lijaković emphasized the importance of the company's second mission - the production and development of complex combat systems, and then spoke about the third mission - supplying the Serbian Armed Forces with domestically produced and imported assets.
- "Yugoimport-SDPR" provides support to the Fair, i.e. the Ministry of Defence, by inviting and accrediting foreign exhibitors from western and other countries. It is common practice around the world for companies wishing to enter a specific market to exhibit at a fair, and it is a good opportunity for all countries that want to be our long-term supplier of certain combat systems, which we do not produce in Serbia, to appear here and showcase their capabilities - said Assistant Director Lijaković adding that "Srpska Banka" is participating at this year’s Arms and Military Equipment Fair as one of the subsidiaries of "Yugoimport-SDPR" dedicated to cooperating with the Serbian Defence Industry companies.
Project Coordinator Ljiljana Šoškić said that it is a great honour for the Belgrade Fair to be the host of the International Arms and Military Equipment Fair, which, according to her, is the biggest event of this kind in Southeast Europe.
  - The promotion of the Serbian Defence Industry is as important as production, and the Fair offers the greatest promotion opportunities. This event is an opportunity to present to the general public the full potential of the Serbian Defence Industry, as well as all the world's eminent arms and military equipment manufacturers - said the representative of the Belgrade Fair. She emphasized that, since the first time it was held, every subsequent PARTNER fair has been better than the previous one in all aspects - in terms of the number and importance of domestic and foreign exhibitors, the size of the exhibition space, the technological level of the exhibits, visits from international delegations and the number of visitors.
During the four-day exhibition, more than 120 domestic and foreign exhibitors will present their product ranges, and professional forums and panels will be held where military experts will be able to present achievements and ideas and exchange experiences on defence technology.

The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia is sponsoring "PARTNER 2023" for two reasons, on the one hand, to present the scientific, research, testing, overhaul and educational capabilities of its institutions, and on the other hand, to address the needs of the Serbian Armed Forces. The organizer is the Belgrade Fair, and the co-organizer is, as in previous years, "Yugoimport-SDPR".

The International Arms and Military Equipment Fair "PARTNER" is held every other year at the Belgrade Fair and is an opportunity for manufacturers of arms and military equipment to present their products, establish new contacts and cooperation and position themselves on the Southeast Europe and global markets.