Cyprus – Czech Republic Defence cooperation at 1st Business Forum in Cyprus
Defence Redefined
Published on 06/05/2023 at 12:09

Cyprus and the Czech Republic discussed ways of further cooperation in the field of defence and security, at a time of increasing geopolitical tensions. The said talks were held yesterday during the Business Forum held between the two countries, which focused on the development of cooperation in the field of security and defence industry.

The Forum was organized by the Ministries of Defence of the two countries, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Cyprus and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (through the Cyprus Association of Research and Innovation Enterprises). It was attended by the Minister of Defence, Michalis Georgallas, the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Dimokritos Zervakis, as well as Officials from the Czech Republic.

As was mentioned in the Forum, there can be synergies between the two countries, as the Czech Republic has a developed defence industry producing weapon systems, while the Cypriot industry focuses on providing electronic systems and software.

In particular, the Czech defence industry was represented by the companies SVOS, ERA, Tatra Trucks, Excalibur Army, AVEC CHEM and GRAND DETECTION, which at the end of the Forum participated in B2B meetings with companies of the Cypriot defence ecosystem, maximizing the benefit of their participation in the Forum and increasing their chances of high-quality business networking.

Addressing the Forum, Mr. Georgallas emphasized that the Republic of Cyprus is aligned with global and European trends for increased investments in the Defence sector, pointing out that a significant part of the expenditure is allocated to equipment, research and innovation.

According to Mr. Georgallas, Cypriot companies participate in 10 programs of the European Defence Industry Development Program (EDIDP) and in 7 projects of the European Defence Fund, adding that the Ministry of Defence will receive funding of €3 million from the Recovery and Resilience Fund for dual-use projects (civil and military use systems).

Further, the Minister noted that the event is an important initiative that paves the way for new avenues of cooperation between Cyprus and the Czech Republic. The defence and security sectors, he concluded, also have an important aspect of developing strong and long-term cooperation between states and also contribute to industrial cooperation, research and innovation.

Also read: CARIE | Participation in the European Network of Defence-related Regions (ENDR)

In his own greeting, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Cyprus, Vladimir Nemetz, praised the excellent relations between the two countries, with bilateral cooperation widely ranging from politics and European issues to trade, culture, tourism and education.

Ratka Konderlova, Director General in the Directorate of Industrial Cooperation at the Czech Ministry of Defence, stated in her own greeting that the Czech defence industry is willing to work towards new partnerships with potential partners from Cyprus, explaining that the Czech defence industry, though long-established, largely relies on exports because the country’s military is too small to sustain the industry.

She also said that there are four projects within the framework of the European Defence Fund in which Czech and Cypriot companies cooperate, with EDF being one of the sectors that has been shown to be a knowledge exchange platform between Cyprus and the Czech Republic, she concluded.

Besides, the General Secretary of the CCCI, Marios Tsiakkis, mentioned in his greeting that the Czech Republic is a country with which there are excellent political and commercial relations and that they are constantly trying to find new ways of close business and commercial cooperation, while both countries aim to exchange know-how and expertise in various fields and enhance bilateral cooperation in trade and investment opportunities.

He noted that the Czech Republic focuses more on equipment and hardware, while Cypriot defence operations focus on sensors and software. Further, cooperation between companies of the two countries would be mutually beneficial for their economies, he concluded.

Also read: Cyprus – Czech Republic Business Forum | Development of partnerships in Security Sector and Defence Industry

Kristina Hemlm, Deputy Director of the Czech Defence Industry Association (DSIA), said that her country is not as involved in European projects as Cyprus, but they are getting there. As she said, the Czech defence industry is diversified and can manufacture ground weapon systems, air defence systems and electronic warfare systems.

She noted, however, that 90% of the industry’s production is exported, of which a third goes to EU countries. She also said that DSIA has 160 member companies.

Finally, presenting the Cypriot defence industry, Tasos Kounoudis, President of CARIE, member of CCCI, said that the Cypriot defence industry is emerging and developing, noting that there are many synergies with the Czech industry.

As he said, the Association was established in 2010, while in 2019 the Cypriot Defence Industry cluster was established, which includes 30 companies active in dual-use products. Its members are participating in 17 projects with a total budget of €127 million, while the Association is the national representative at EDF, he said.

As Mr. Kounoudis noted, Cypriot companies are active in the fields of electronic systems, sensors, robotics and autonomous systems, space and communications, artificial intelligence and sustainable energy.

He also said that Cypriot small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are on the list of leading European SMEs participating in European projects.

Also read: Cyprus – France Operational Workshop | Development of partnerships in the Security and Defence Industry Sector




Pin It on Pinterest

Share This