By Douglas Hernández
Expodefensa 2021 will be the stage that will receive national and international companies in Bogotá from November 29 to December 1, to showcase their products and services with technological developments and innovation in defense and security. More than 10,000 visitors, 226 exhibitors, and 55 commercial talks will take part in the most important international security and defense show in Latin America and the Caribbean area. This event has become the benchmark for responding to the continent’s security demand and thus building a safer region for everyone. In addition, Expodefensa has contributed to the economic reactivation of Colombia.
On Wednesday, November 24th, the official press conference was held in preparation for this great event that will take place at the Corferias venue in Bogotá.
The conference was chaired by the Vice Minister of Defense for the Defense Social and Business Group, Andrés Ríos Puerta, the Executive President of Corferias, Andrés López Valderrama, and the CEO of COGES events, Charles Beaudouin.
Andrés López was the first to speak. After thanking the Vice Minister of Defense for his presence and active participation in the organization of the event, he referred to the importance of COGES as the main operator of such events worldwide, namely for being the organizer of the largest security and defense show of the world, Eurosatory, which takes place in Paris. López pointed out that the alliance between COGES, the Colombian Ministry of Defense, and Corferias, allowed Colombia to have a platform that is consolidated and is positioned as the main hub of the defense sector in the region. This international recognition is the result of this collaborative work.
The size of the show, the number of exhibitors and the participating delegations confirm that it has returned to pre-pandemic levels, a matter that is good news for the show industry. Expodefensa 2021 even exceeds the indicators of the previous edition. Currently 220 exhibitors from 25 countries and 120 official delegations from 21 countries are confirmed, which represents a sign of trust and support.
The Executive President of Corferias ended his speech by highlighting that many of the things that happen in this sector (that of security and defense) ended up benefiting the economy in general, as there were innovations that can be applied across the sector of production.
Charles Beaudouin, the CEO of COGES Events, then took the floor, with the aid of his assistant Bertrand de Pommerol, who served as a translator into Spanish. Beaudouin introduced himself explaining that he is the new manager of Expodefensa 2021 and other international shows. He thanked the Colombian Ministry of Defense and Corferias for the trust placed in COGES since 2015. He explained that in 2021 the pandemic caused a decrease of between 30 to 40% in the indicators of the main shows in the world, however, Expodefensa 2021 seemed to exceed its initial goals.
He was emphatic in stating that this result could not exist without the vision, the will and the audacity of the Colombian Minister of Defense, who authorized this edition of the exhibition to take place albeit in very difficult contexts, both health and economic ones.
This year Expodefensa will be the most important security and defense event in Latin America. Offering a whole range of services and the most modern terrestrial, maritime, aeronautical, space and cyber products. This event will allow official institutions and private operators to find solutions to all kinds of threats in one place. Beaudouin indicated that, although the show is international, there will be a strong presence of the Latin American industry. For all these reasons, COGES is especially proud to work in close collaboration with Corferias and with the Colombian Ministry of Defense, for the success of Expodefensa, and, therefore, for the strengthening of defense and security in Latin America and the Caribbean area.
The Deputy Minister for the Social and Business Defense Group (GSED), Andrés Ríos Puerta was the last to speak. He began the presentation by indicating that within the Ministry of Defense there are 18 companies at the service of all Colombians. As a whole they contribute around 14.4 billion Colombian pesos (3.23 million Euro) to the country’s GDP. In addition, these companies in the defense sector generate about 12,000 jobs. Through productive linkages, the GSED wishes to positively impact large, medium and small companies throughout the country.
Concluding his speech, the Vice Minister pointed out that Expodefensa is the window of science, technology and innovation.
Photos by D. Hernández