Turkey wants to attract business and investors to develop its defense industry?

Turkish nationalist President Receip Erdogan began a vast development program for the Turkish defense industry upon his appointment as prime minister in 2003. In 15 years, the Turkish defense industry will have made immense progress, becoming today an important player on the international scene, more particularly in the Middle East and Pakistan, to whom Turkish shipyards have sold 4 modern Ada corvettes

But President Erdogan's ambitions do not stop there. He launched 13 major defense programs, including one modern combat aircraft known as “5th generation” called TF-Xair defense systemBattle Tank , satellites, combat helicopters, anti-tank missiles, etc. 

For this, Turkish industry relies heavily on know-how from abroad, whether from Western companies, but also from Russian or Chinese companies. To attract businesses and investors, the Turkish government announced a major program of grants, loans and tax exemptionsto companies that would establish themselves in its territory, with the ambition of becoming self-sufficient by 2030, and of capturing an increasingly significant market share in the global arms market.

The situation on the arms market today is reminiscent of that of the 60s, when many countries decided to position themselves there, with the ambition, as in Turkey, of self-sufficiency and contracts. export.

In Europe, Poland and Romania; in Asia, India, Pakistan, South Korea; Brazil in South America, Australia in Oceania, and several countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey, have launched major programs aimed at developing their defense industries.

However, it seems obvious that all these players are not destined to last, due to the balkanization of the world market. Only industries that can rely on a high level of domestic orders, as well as significant support for Defense Research, will manage to survive the essential concentration to come.

As such, the EUROPEAN UNION could play a decisive role in protecting and strengthening the European Defense industry. Today, European Defense programs are limited to distributing subsidies more or less equitably for programs developed in collaboration. This approach has the merit of existing, but is far from being sufficient, or even satisfactory. 

Thus, by limiting itself to a “program” vision, the current approach does not encourage long-term collaboration between European manufacturers in order to become major players in a market or leaders in a technology. . In addition, it leads to the creation of numerous structures participating in these programs, even without being legitimate, which goes against the need for consolidation. On the other hand, it does not balance its action according to differences between countries, whether in terms of Defense industry or Defense needs. Finally, its budgetary envelope is very limited, covering only 2% of annual defense equipment expenditure in the European Union.

Instead of strengthening Defense Europe, this approach will end up weakening it, by favoring small programs bringing together too many players, leading to technological inabilities, deadline and budget overruns, and without capitalizing on the technological progress made. .

On the contrary, if European mechanisms made it possible to balance equipment efforts between manufacturing countries and purchasing countries, by balancing returns on tax investments, while encouraging manufacturers to develop subsidiaries in client countries in order to extend their know-how and their recruitment opportunities, Europe would become an actor in the construction of a sustainable and efficient European Defense industry, while participating in the attractiveness of Defense Europe.

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