Egypt launched the first ever edition of the International Exhibition for Defence and Military Industries, EXPO 2018, this week.
It is one of the outputs of the Egyptian military upgrading and development programmes which have achieved monumental leaps during the last four years.
This was reflected in Egypt's comprehensive balance of power.
Contrary to common thinking that military exhibitions are just a market in which modern military products are displayed, they have become an interactive platform to showcase capabilities enjoyed by countries that display products showing the extent of vast technical developments in the military and defence industries and evaluate the extent of efficiency of the national manufacturing bases in meeting local needs and addressing non-traditional dangers and threats that imposed producing defence and military products.
In addition, these exhibitions highlight the size of the international reputation which the organising country enjoys, enabling it to organise an event that attracts the big and distinguished producers and competitors in these markets.
This is a difficult matter that can't be accessible for countries that don't have special qualifications and capabilities to knock on the doors in this field.
There are several indicators that qualify Egypt to become a destination for defence and military investment focused on the weighty Egyptian military institution as well as its historical deep-rootedness and its incessant capability to modernise due to its accumulated experiences in keeping and maintaining the Egyptian state intact.
All the above have contributed to providing opportunities for maximising this institution’s total power. This will be tackled in the following five indicators.
- Modernising military infrastructure: During the last four years (2014-2018), Egypt has witnessed monumental leaps in the field of armaments, shown in concluding agreements in armaments in all fields, land, air and sea. Perhaps the most significant of these agreements were the helicopter carriers, Abdel-Nasser and El-Sadat, the frigates Gowind and Fareem, the 902-Class German submarines and the Rafale fighters. It has also witnessed a leap in building and rehabilitating military bases such as founding the Southern Fleet and constructing the Mohamed Naguib Military Base.
- Upgrading the military infrastructure in order to develop the capabilities of the Egyptian soldier: This was done through several paths including the path of developing of the military educational institutions according to the latest international military sciences programmes, preparing such institutions to constitute a base for supporting national military manufacture. This was showcased in holding number of exhibitions specialised in innovations and participating in international scientific activities in the military field and the path of raising the combat effectiveness through specific training.
- Building a national advanced military manufacturing base in order to localise hi-tech military industries: The most prominent product in this context was an Egyptian version of the Gowind Frigate in cooperation with the French Naval Group and building a number of small and medium military vessels to meet the needs of the Egyptian fleet.
- Broadening the horizons of the regional and military cooperation: This was accomplished on several paths on an unprecedented scale comprising the following: concluding agreements and signing protocols for military cooperation with international and regional powers, concluding arms deals in the light of diversifying the sources of armaments strategy then beginning joint military manufacture, expanding bilateral and multi-lateral military exercises and manoeuvres such as the Bright Star and the Eagle Salute with the USA, Protectors of Friendship with Russia and Medusa with Cyprus and Greece and Cleopatra with France and other manoeuvres with Arab countries such as North Thunder and Arab Shield.
- Advancing in terrorism combat: This is quite evident in the decline of the terrorism phenomenon in Egypt manifested in the ongoing Operation Sinai 2018 as well as the cooperation in terrorism combat regionally and internationally through sharing experiences and intelligence information exchange.
Holding the EDEX 2018 definitely endorses Egypt’s status internationally following the holding of a previous international event, the World Youth Forum (November 2018).
Certainly, this points out Egypt’s ability to organise international activities with such magnitude.
The number of industrial visitors to EDEX 2018 is expected to reach 10,000, from all over the world; it is the first exhibition of its kind in North or Central Africa.
The exhibition aims at holding a distinguished international forumو and the participation of about 41 countries from all over the world asserts this fact.
This could qualify Egypt to be one of the most important exhibition locations regionally and internationally.
It also displays the huge upgrading efforts made by the Egyptian armed forces to develop the Egyptian market in the defence weaponry and security technology trade.
The fantastic military expenditure in the region constitutes an opportunity for Egypt to attract military economies.
EDEX 2018 provides Egypt a chance to occupy an international position in the field.
The presence of 316 exhibitors means more interaction with agents and provides an opportunity to search for the best products in the field.
Finally, we may point out that the preparations for the exhibition took place for a whole year at Egypt’s International Exhibition Centre organised by the Egyptian Ministry of Defence and held under the patronage of the President of Egypt, the Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
The preparations included three big display halls and 21 international pavilions during the three days of the exhibition as well as devoting a branch for security and terrorism combat to display the latest equipment and technological solutions against terrorism.
The EDEX 2018 is organised in cooperation with the British company Clarion Events, who are world's leading event organisers, producing and delivering innovative and market-leading events. The exhibition is sponsored by 15 international and local companies.