Şebnem ASİL / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ümit BAYRAKTAR / email@example.com
Alper ÇALIK / firstname.lastname@example.org
SAHA EXPO, organised by Turkey’s biggest industry cluster, SAHA Istanbul, has been held both virtually and physically this year. The physical part of the fair was held between 10-13 November and enjoyed the attendance of thousands of visitors in addition to 481 participants that set up their booths from 18 different countries. The total economic value of the signed agreements exceeded $120 million, from 32 different contracts and protocols signed during the fair. The fair also made a difference regarding the products showcased in it, with SAHA EXPO witnessing plenty of launches and unveilings even though IDEF’21, during which the companies usually prefer to launch their new products was just organised in August.
In the physical fair, 405 of 481 participants with their booths were from Turkey, while the remaining 76 were from abroad. The event was held on a 40,000 square metre area and hosted 17,643 visitors with 597 of said visitors being from foreign countries. With official delegations and purchasing committees, the fair hosted people from 36 different countries. The companies utilised SAHA EXPO’s B2B system for bilateral discussions and in total 571 meeting requests were given to the fair organisation.
Event Enjoyed Important Names
The opening ceremony for the event was held on its second day. In the ceremony, Hulusi Akar, Minister of National Defence, Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, Hasan Büyükdede, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology, and Haluk Bayraktar, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SAHA Istanbul made speeches. Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology visited the fair on the third day and inspected the booths of various companies.
National Products Ranging from Assault Rifles to Amphibious Assault Ships
Hulusi Akar, Minister of National Defence highlighted that even assault rifles had to be imported in the past and shared the following: “We are proud to have reached a level where we can design, produce, and even export our national assault rifles, MLRS platforms, FIRTINA SPGs, UAVs and UCAVs, ATAK Helicopters, frigates, warships, and more. Our achievements not only bring us pride, but security as well. In addition, our efforts in new radar and electronic warfare systems, National Combat Aircraft, SİPER Air Defence System, and ANADOLU Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship projects continue.”
The Keystone of the Industry: SMEs
Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology has highlighted the fact SMEs are getting more prominent in the fair and shared: “Their advance to the limelight is what we desire as Ministry of Industry and Technology. The more private companies, the more SMEs work for the defence sector, supplying the bigger ones as well as developing their own technologies, the faster Turkish industry will develop.”
Every Year, SAHA EXPO Attendance Increases
Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries expressed the following in his speech: “SAHA EXPO is a good indicator for seeing how far a cluster of six years has come. The event has seen increased attendance, providing valuable feedback to the sector, and facilitating new contracts as well as introducing new companies and people to each other. SAHA EXPO 2021 will be a great step forward in introducing the power of Turkish defence sector to the world.”
Internationalisation of SAHA Istanbul
Hasan Büyükdede, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology highlighted the achievements of SAHA Istanbul and SAHA EXPO in his speech: “SAHA Istanbul cluster has reached 665 companies as of today. Even though the event was held only online last year due to pandemic precautions, this year has been a great success, with 480 companies participating in the fair and 76 of these being foreign companies, along with the attendance of visitors from 30 different countries. It has been proven that SAHA Istanbul fairs are now international events, and this one is the best place to showcase the Turkish industry and its infrastructure. “
The Size of the Sector Reached 750 Projects and 1,700 Companies
Haluk Bayraktar, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SAHA Istanbul touched on the latest changes in the Turkish defence and aerospace sector, speaking as follows: “We are writing new success stories with our national and indigenous production models, instead of being prisoners of mediocrity. With our National Technology Movement vision, our domestic industry is gaining new ground and increasing its share in our sector. Only 17 companies were doing business in our sector 20 years ago, but today this number has reached 1,700. Only 60 projects were in progress in the past, but we made it reach 750 today. Our defence industry exports increase by 13-15 percent every year.”
Virtual Fair Will Last Until 15 February
After the conclusion of the offline part of SAHA EXPO, the virtual part of the event commenced on 15 November. The event is brought online through virtual fair and event platform XperExpo, developed by BİTES, and offers various options to the participants. The products can be presented both 2D and 3D, and the companies can upload marketing materials such as brochures or videos to the system. The virtual visitors then can walk around a 3D representation of the fair, and inspect the products offered by visiting virtual booths. The visitors can filter the products by their name or the company name, and both of them and the participants can submit B2B meeting requests.
According to the statistics published by SAHA EXPO on 17 November, 456 companies participate in the virtual fair, and 185 3D and 224 2D products are being showcased. SAHA EXPO Virtual Fair will be held for 3 months in total and will conclude on 15 February 2022.
We present the news we compiled from the prominent developments within SAHA EXPO to our readers in the following pages.
List of Contracts, MoUs and Cooperation Protocols Signed During SAHA EXPO 2021