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Ideas-2008 opens today

November 24, 2008

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KARACHI, Nov 23: The fifth exhibition of local and foreign military hardware – the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (Ideas) 2008 – opens at the Expo Centre here on Monday.

Companies from 58 countries are taking part in the exhibition which is held every two years.

The exhibition is aimed at projecting Pakistan as a country capable of meeting defence requirements of important states of the region. Local manufacturers and exhibitors from China, Turkey, other European countries and the United States will display technology-loaded weapons systems.

Briefing the media, Maj-Gen Mohammad Farooq, the director-general of Defence Export Promotion Exhibition, said that of the 256 participating companies, 94 were Pakistani and 162 from abroad.

In 2006, 221 companies had attended the exhibition. Of them 148 were from abroad.

A major attraction this year will be the static display of JF-17 Thunder aircraft, jointly produced by China and Pakistan.

About 100 high-level meetings have been planned on the sidelines of the exhibition.

Pakistan’s Global Industrial and Defence Solutions (GIDS) is displaying a wide range of products of its constituent companies – Advanced Engineering Research Organisation, Integrated Defence Systems, Marine Systems, Xpert Engineering Services, Institute of Industrial Control Systems, Al-Technique Corporation of Pakistan and Scientific Engineering and Technology Services.

Of special interest at the last exhibition were locally produced unmanned aerial vehicles and visitors this year will be keen to know if the planes have undergone any improvement in view of greater induction of the system in the ongoing conflict in the region.

Special security arrangements have been made for the event. Offices in the area, including the Civic Centre and SSGCL, will remain closed in the afternoon during the exhibition days. All restaurants around the Expo Centre have been asked to remain closed from 5 pm for five hours.

A traffic rerouting plan will be put in place around the Expo Centre. In the past, traffic management has posed a big challenge with road blocks and diversions causing traffic congestion in and around the area.