Focus on defence industry

First working day in Poland after vacation. Second visit to the Defence Industry Exhibition (MSPO) in Kielce.

The high level presence from Poland is telling. President Bronisław Komorowski inaugurated the  exhibition this morning and Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski was one of the participants I happened to meet very rapidly when walking around the exhibition afterwards.

I had planned to participate already 2011 but became ill. Last year, though, everything went as planned. Both our Defence Attaché Claes Nilsson and I have found participation here very useful, so we are back again together with a significant delegation from relevant authorities in Sweden including Admiral Peter Bager from Ministry of Defence (Swedish co-chair of the steering committe for the Polish-Swedish cooperation in this area).

Most important is however obviously the fact that Swedish companies are well represented. Like BAE Systems Hägglunds AB. Saab. Scania. Volvo Defense. We have seen them today, visited their stands.

The very ambitious defence reform Poland is going through includes a significant modernisation of defence material – and the interest for international cooperation in this context is clear.  Swedish companies are obviously possible and interested partners.

I am not an expert in this field and will never be. But I definitely learn a just by being shown around, watching presentations about very different products from artillery to radars and listening to Swedish colleagues putting everything into context. At an exhibition like this everything becomes very concrete – to say the least. And sometimes I can add some new words from the area of defence to my Polish vocabulary (uzbrojenie meaning armament is the latest of them…).

Hopefully our presence here from the Embassy and from Stockholm contributes to making Sweden more visible. Tomorrow I will host a lunch for key Polish and Swedish participants like I did last year which I believe will facilitate networking between them. But it will definitely also benefit my own learning.

Then I will return to Warsaw for a more normal working day at the Embassy starting Wednesday morning.


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