Israel Targets India, Finland, US, 3 Other Countries for Renewed Defence Export Thrust

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:11 AM, November 27, 2019
  • 4011
Israel Targets India, Finland, US, 3 Other Countries for Renewed Defence Export Thrust

The Israeli Ministry of Defense International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) has targeted India, the United States, Finland and 3 other Asian countries for renewed defence exports push.

The six "core" countries are among a list of 41 countries for which defence exports could be pushed significantly by directly engaging the respective countries in government-to-government (G2G) deals. Although the official list of target nations has not been revealed, about 20 of them are said to be in the Europe.

“The measures favoured by SIBAT include a major expansion of defense deals between countries (G2G) that is expected to result in significant deals for the large defense companies in the coming years, especially Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems,” SIBAT director Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yair Kulas was quoted as saying by the Globes newspaper.

Signficantly, the new policy as revealed by Globes newspaper states that if a leading defence major secures a deal due to Israeli government efforts, it must share 20% of the contract value with an Israeli small and medium enterprises (SME).

"We have learned that the large defense companies are able to obtain SIBAT's resources by themselves, but the small companies have no such access, and there is a knowledge gap in promoting defense deals between countries and sending business delegations to the relevant exhibitions around the world," Kulas said.

In addition, the Israeli Ministry of Defense is considering appointing a military attaché in some of the Asian countries to expedite defense deals between them.

The measures will be put in action as early as in 2020.

"The defense export market is rapidly changing; traditional markets are contracting and new markets are opening," Kulas says. "Looking five and ten years ahead, we realized that we should focus on our relative advantages in expanding exports, through agreement mechanisms with defense ministries and armies around the world, and should improve our effectiveness as an agency."

Israel's defense exports totaled $7.5 billion in 2018, with 46% of them being to Asia. 26% of defense exports were to European countries, 20% to North America, 6% to Latin America, and 2% to Africa.