Businesspeople, defense sector manufacturers, military attaches in Turkiye’s capital come together
The Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD) and Ankara Military Attache Corps (AMAC) held a sectoral cooperation meeting in the Turkish capital.
The program was joined by AMAC President Brig. Gen. Kipling V. Kahler, MUSIAD’s deputy chairmen, Muhammet Ali Ozeken and Davut Altunbas, Sector Boards and Business Development Commission Chairman Osman Caliskan, Defense Industry Sector Board Chairman Fatih Altunbas,MUSIAD member businesspeople and attaches from different countries.
Developments in the defense industry, MUSIAD’s work in the defense sector, and developments in cooperation areas were discussed at the event.
Ozeken said the Turkish defense industry has developed important projects through research and development studies.
Noting that Turkiye stands out among NATO members with its work, Ozeken said the country has made a significant revolution in the defense sector as well as in many other fields in the last 20 years.
He noted that manufacturers, investors, and industrialists are raising their brand awareness in the global arena day by day.
He said: “Until 2003, the arms imports in our country were 250 times arms exports, and after 2003, there were significant changes in favor of our arms exports.
“Between 2003 and 2020, arms imports decreased to nine-fold the average of exports.”
By 2020, despite all negative events across the world, Turkiye’s arms exports exceeded its arms imports for the first time 1.64 times its imports, he recalled.
This situation is a concrete example of the result of the indigenization and nationalization policies that have been successfully carried out in the defense industry since 2002, he added.
Ozeken also noted that Turkiye is one of the leading members of NATO, the world’s largest defense pact.
He said: “We are aware that as we develop our national defense industry, our contribution to regional and world peace will increase.
“As both MUSIAD and MUSIAD Defense Industry Sector Board, we are developing projects and collaborations that will increase R&D resources to develop the Turkish defense industry.”
Meanwhile, Kahler stressed that the organizations play an important role in fulfilling the duties of not only NGOs but also military attaches who should carry out not only the military representation of their country, but also all their activities in countries where they are guests.
He noted: “Such activities of MUSIAD enable us to get to know the manufacturers of defense industry products and thus help us to fulfill our duty as military representatives in Turkiye.
“AMAC is a large formation with 124 members today, while 122 members are located in Turkiye, and the other two members continue their activities in other countries accredited by Turkiye.”
He underlined that military attaches have more than one mission in the country they are in, including “military activity representation of their own countries, advising their ambassadors about Turkiye’s capabilities, and most importantly, planning and organizing contracts for the defense industry in the country they host.
“The third item is the most important for us, and thanks to MUSIAD, we fulfill this duty by coming together and organizing cooperation with defense industry manufacturers.”
Altunbas also said the meeting with AMAC will make a significant contribution to the recognition of the Turkish defense industry.
“This meeting is an advantage for both military attaches and MUSIAD members,” he said and added: “Having proven its success with the activities it has carried so far, MUSIAD’s access to foreign country representatives will not only open the door to business opportunities, but also strengthen relations between countries, increase the recognition of the Turkish defense industry, and help the industry offer ideal suppliers in line with the needs.”
He underlined that an NGO met with AMAC for the first time at this event, saying: “As MUSIAD Defense Industry Sector Board, we are proud of organizing this event.
“One of our biggest goals while organizing this meeting is to take trade diplomacy one step forward by bringing together AMAC members and MUSIAD member companies operating in the sector.”