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MSPO 2009 , Kielce, Poland
17th International Defence Industry Exhibition

Online Official Show news daily
At the MSPO exhibition the crisis is nowhere to be seen
Monday, 31 August 2009, 13:15
The 17th International Defence Industry Exhibition scheduled for this year will be held with several billion zlotys of budget cuts in the defence ministry. What will be the impact of this situation on the number of exhibitors and on the scale and size of the exhibits?
We can hardly expect to remain intact in the time of economic slowdown, as the domestic defence industry is practically dependent upon two purchasers, i.e. the defence ministry and the ministry of interior and administration, with their budgets intended for technological upgrade being substantially reduced. The volume of production achieved by the domestic defence industry in the time of prosperity has not been maintained. Fortunately, however, the Armed Forces have not entirely given up purchasing equipment, armaments and other facilities for building a professional army. A moment of hesitation as to whether it is worth participating in the Exhibition or nor has also been experienced by Bumar. Eventually, a positive decision was made. Those participating in this exhibition realize that this is an investment in their future. And, as I see it, this is a wise decision. In fact, the exhibitors has increased their chance for success to be made once the slowdown has gone. Important is also the fact that it is easier for our defence companies to show their products in Kielce rather than at such events held abroad, where the price of one square metre of exhibition space is a few times higher. There are also additional costs relating to flights, transport of equipment, not to mention the hotel prices, which in London, Paris or Abu Dhabi are at least twice as high as in Kielce. Therefore the space leased at the International Defence Industry Exhibition 2009 will be only slightly smaller than in previous years. The difference will practically be hardly perceivable. What is smaller is the number of exhibitors, as some of the smaller-size companies have given up.
As befits one of Europe's largest and most important defence industry exhibitions.
The third largest exhibition project of this kind on the Old Continent, after those in Paris and London. And it wasn't long ago that MSPO was a fair event of slight importance in Europe, inferior in size to the exhibitions held in the Czech Republic and Turkey. Our fair event is very well-known across the world. We receive delegations from China, South Korea, India, Algeria, and many other far off countries. Each year the exhibition is also visited by professionals and military people representing the Polish Army, Police, Polish Government, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and Administration, as well as foreign delegations, military attachés accredited to Poland, ambassadors and representatives of institutions and organizations related to national defence and security.
What is this promotion due to?
Not long ago, the Polish Army was the second largest in the Warsaw Pact in terms of the number of soldiers. Since the transformations started, this number has decreased, though the role we play, this time in NATO, is still of great importance. The more so, as on the eve of the professionalization of the armed forces , with the ongoing upgrade process, the army is using increasingly better and modern equipment. And it is due to the modernization of the army, with the obsolete equipment being replaced with new one and with the large-scale offset contracts being concluded, that many defence sectors from a wide range of countries started regarding Poland as a lucrative market for their products. Credit for the large scale of the Kielce MSPO fair should be given to the Polish Army, which is a good and long-term customer of many domestic and foreign companies. Adopting our army to NATO standards and contemporary requirements will involve new investments, which means that companies co-operating with the army can expect many contracts.
This year, despite the date of the MSPO fair almost coinciding with the London fair, we receive delegations from across the world. The Kielce fair also provides an excellent venue for international meetings held by defence industry professionals intending to establish business contacts with our neighbours in central and eastern Europe.
In your opinion each fair event has its special character. In what way then, in spite of the problems resulting from the crisis, will this year's fair be different from that held last year?
I’m very happy to see our army this year resuming the tradition, which, by the way, accompanies all events of this kind; the so called dynamic presentations. This is a practical exercise for commanders and individual soldiers, while for fair participants it is an excellent opportunity to present the changing character of the Polish army, its modern equipment and increasingly high skills, which enables Polish soldiers to effectively accomplish their missions in the most demanding operational surroundings.
This year the exhibition prepared by the Armed Forces will be held under the motto "Professional Soldiers – Professional Equipment”. This exhibition is organized by the Inspectorate of Support for the Armed Forces. The visitors will have an opportunity to watch a demonstration of the soldiers' practical skills. On the first day of the exhibition, as part of the dynamic presentation, special skills will be presented by soldiers of logistics subunits, which will show many ways in which damaged equipment can be evacuated from the battle field. Among the actions to be watched will be loading a damaged PT-91 tank onto a low-clearance carrier, evacuating a damaged armoured fighting vehicle BWP by means of a WZT-3 vehicle, as well as loading a patrol vehicle Skorpion onto a self-loading platform.
MSPO is also accompanied, which has also become a tradition, by a whole range of seminars and conferences. Will it also be so this year?
Yes, it will. However, we are planning a few changes as compared with such events held in the past. For many years, each MSPO fair has had its leading country. In 2008, a national exhibition was prepared by Sweden. So far, at MSPO we have seen national exhibitions of Germany, France, Israel, as well as the United States, whose exhibition organized in 2007 brought together tens of companies offering products such as the famous helicopter Black Hawk. This year the organizers will be the Vysehrad Group countries. Earlier, especially when the leading country was the Unites States, many conferences were planned. There were even too many of them, considering the amount of time the visitors could use. They are currently organized on such a large scale, in addition o being so attractive, that the visitors would like to attend as many as possible. Most of the military staff come for one day only. No wonder that they don't want to spend half of this day at a conference.
This is why, in spite of there being so many interesting conferences also this year, they will be held successively, so that the visitors will not experience kind of dissociated personality making a decision which to choose: a tour of the exhibition halls featuring equipment produced by defence companies and utilized by our army or participation in a conference. Personally, what makes me happy is the fact that last year we resumed the tradition of conferences at which discussions were held by officials of the defence ministry and representatives of military equipment producers. It turned out that there was too little time allocated for such discussion. What has been planned for the second day of the exhibition MSPO 2009 (during the first day there are so many important visitors, and directors of companies want to be present at their stands to meet them) is a meeting attended by undersecretaries of state in the Ministry of Defence, Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, the Ministry of Economy, Dariusz Bogdan, the Ministry of the Treasury, Krzysztof Hubert Laszkiewicz and representatives of the defence industry.
A novelty of this year’s exhibition will be the presentation of a special award for the best exhibiting company, funded by the President of the Republic of Poland. Moreover, the awarded companies will be invited to the seat of the President to attend the celebrations of the Independence Day held on 11th November, during which the President will personally congratulate the winners.

The Municipality of Kielce is of the opinion that the MSPO exhibition, which has been organized for 17 years now, has stimulated the development of the Kielce exhibition centre and the city itself. Is it such an important event for the city?
We also keep developing the premises of Targi Kielce. Visitors to this year’s MSPO will see a fenced area between the existing halls, in which another exhibition hall will be constructed; with 6,000 square metres of exhibition space, meeting requirements of the 21st century, made of glass and steel, and 12 metres high. This is only the beginning of the planned investment projects. What will be erected together with the hall is a glazed building fulfilling the function of a roofed entrance to the premises. The whole extension project, the value of which has been estimated at about PLN 170 million, also includes the development of a congress centre with a seating capacity of 1,000. The tender procedure will be announced in the autumn. The third stage will be the construction of a multi-layer car park for 380 vehicles, the capacity of which will be further extended to accommodate about 800 vehicles. What is being remade is also junctions and access roads – the city has received financial resources to cover these expenses from the UE – to the premises. In a year or two, the multi-level junctions will make it possible to exit the Kielce ring road and safely reach the premises.
Interview with Andrzej Mochon, President of Targi Kielce.
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