Ukraine: the first International Defence Industries Forum [BRIEF]

Source: Centre for Eastern Studies

On 29 September, the first International Defence Industries Forum (DFNC1) was held in Kyiv.

 

According to a communiqué issued by the Ukrainian side the following day, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the creation of the Alliance of Defence Industries, to which he invited companies from Ukraine and around the world. According to the Ukrainian foreign ministry, 38 companies from 19 countries had signed up by the time the Forum closed. Zelensky also announced plans to set up a special defence fund, to be financed by dividends from state defence assets and profits from the sale of confiscated Russian property. The funds accumulated are to be used to provide additional support for the arms industry’s development programmes, other programmes important for defence, and for the care of soldiers. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated that the draft budget for 2024 plans to spend 55.8 billion hryvnias (c. $1.5 bn) on preparations for armaments production, seven times higher than this year’s figure. He also recalled that 37 Ukrainian armaments enterprises have been destroyed as a result of Russian attacks. The Ukrainian foreign ministry stated that the Ukrainian side had signed 20 documents of varying degrees of importance with its foreign partners during the Forum, which was attended by 252 companies from 31 countries.

 

 

On 29 September, the French defence ministry presented the results of a visit to Kyiv by a delegation led by the minister Sébastien Lecornu and attended by some 20 representatives of the French arms industry. During DFNC1, French entrepreneurs signed nearly 20 contracts, letters of intent and memoranda of cooperation with Ukrainian users and potential service providers of French-supplied armoured vehicles, artillery and drones, as well as cyber security and demining facilities.

 

 

On 30 September, the management of the Turkish company Baykar reported their participation in the Forum. The company is to build a Turkish-licensed drone plant in Ukraine by the end of next year, which should employ a minimum of 300 workers. The company wants to invest $100 million in this project, as well as in the company’s service centre and an office in Kyiv. Meanwhile the Czech defence ministry announced that it had reached an memorandum during DFNC1 to transfer a licence to the Ukrainian side for the production of CZ BREN 2 carbines. The Czech company Sellier & Bellot will also help the Ukrainians organise the production of small-arms ammunition.

 

Source: Centre for Eastern Studies.

 

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