Defence exhibition IDEAS 2016 opens in Karachi

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the ninth International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2016, Pakistan’s biggest defence exhibition today, at the Expo Centre, Karachi.

The prime minister reached the Expo Centre along with Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain.

The route leading to the Expo Centre from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, has been decorated with national flags and buntings and welcome banners have also been placed along the route for the participants of the exhibition.

Elaborate security and traffic arrangements have also been made for the occasion. The four-day (Nov 22-25) biennial event inaugurated by the prime minister is expected to draw 90 delegations representing 43 countries of the world.

Addressing the attendees, PM Nawaz said that terrorism in Pakistan had declined significantly and the country had also improved as far as the energy sector was concerned.

“In Pakistan, the energy crisis has significantly diminished,” he said. “By the year 2016-2017, Pakistan’s GDP is expected to grow and reach the mark of 5 percent,” he added.

These delegations would be led by their respective countries’ defence ministers, defence secretaries, chiefs of defence staff and other senior officials. A total of 418 companies from 34 countries, including 157 Pakistani firms, are showcasing their products in this mega defence event.

This year nine new countries are participating in the exhibition because of the successful marketing by the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO).

These countries include Luxembourg, Denmark, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belgium, Nigeria and Romania.

DEPO Director Media Commodore Tahir Javed told a news conference that overwhelming response from the companies from across the world has boosted our confidence and it proves the success of this mega event.

The DEPO Media Coordinator informed that indigenously built defence products which include tanks fighter jets missile boats Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and other military equipment will be showcased at the IDEAS 2016.

He pointed that several high-level meetings will also take place between the foreign delegations to promote cooperation in defence production.

Another important feature of the IDEAS-2016 is the International Defence Seminar which will be held on Tuesday evening at a hotel here. The occasion will be graced by President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain.

Besides the exhibition conferences will also be held on Nov 23-24 at the Expo Centre. The IDEAS 2016 will conclude on Nov 25.