By Joseph Roukoz
Accompanied by the Chiefs of the Colombian military services, by the Executive President of Corferias, Andrés López Valderrama, and by the CEO of COGES events, Charles Beaudouin. The Minister of Defence of Colombia, Diego Molano (in the opening image), inaugurated on Monday November 29th the seventh edition of Expodefensa.
After addressing a warm greeting to the Ambassadors attending the ceremony inauguration, to the Colombian High Military Command, to the Delegations of numerous nations from America, Europe and Asia, to the exhibitors and to all those who were present at the protocol ceremony, he recalled that we are emerging from complicated year, not forgetting to mention one of his predecessors, Juan Carlos Pinzón, who years ago created the Expodefensa concept. “This year Colombia will also host the Orion Summit, and the first forum against drug trafficking, which will gather all governors and mayors of Colombia. During these meetings, we want to find new synergies to face new threats such as deforestation, cyber attacks, the sale of psychoactive substances via social networks, among others,” the Minister said, adding that these can be dealt with not only with soldiers and police, but also with new ideas and strategies. He also underlined that for the first time the Armed Forces are considering the environment as a strategic asset, and 23,000 men and women are engaged in its protection through Operation Artemis. “Another inovative element marking the current year is the strengthening GSED companies. In this sense, we see that Cotecmar is the axis of the Navy development, the Air Force works hand in hand with the CIAC in the Quimbaya drone programme, while the National Army collaborates with Codaltec in the development of native armour. This answers President Duque request for sustainability in all activities of the defence sector and, in addition, the contribution to the post-Covid economic recovery. The Ministry of Defence wishes to increase international cooperation and stressed that this is what Expodefensa is for, recalling that the technologies developed by the GSED are of a dual nature, being also useful for the sector. civil.
Closing his speech, he praised the role of the 400,000 men and women of the Colombian Armed Forces, who guarantee the freedom and democracy in the country, and the life for all Colombians.
The President of the Republic of Colombia, Ivan Duque Márquez, then arrived to close the opening ceremony. He stressed the importance of Expodefensa for Colombia, thanking all participants for believing in his country and for their contribution to its economic recovery. He also thanked the countries participating in the Orion Summit for their commitment in the fight against drug trafficking, as well as the Colombian Military and Police forces for their daily sacrifice in order to guarantee the security and defence of the country and the life and honour of all Colombians.
Photos courtesy J. Roukoz