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Czech armament makers’ export trebles in three years

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Brno, May 31 (CTK) – The exports of Czech armament firms have almost trebled in the past four years, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said on Wednesday, adding that this is also due to cooperation between the ministry and the military on the one side and the armament industry on the other.

Speaking at the opening of the IDET armament trade fair, Stropnicky said the purchases by the Czech military are an ideal reference for succeeding in foreign markets.

The exports of weapons and various defence systems were worth 7.6 billion crowns in 2013 and almost 20 billion crowns in 2016.

“During the past years, dozens of foreign trips were made. This year, there will be 27 of them to 40 countries. We are succeeding in establishing cooperation and a number of our firms cooperate with leading foreign partners,” Stropnicky said.

The ministry wants to modernise the military with the help of domestic firms as much as possible where possible, he said.

“In the current security situation, it is very important that our military be more capable and more resolute both where the number of soldiers and equipment are concerned,” Stropnicky said.

He repeated the goal of raising the financing of defence to 1.4 of GDP by 2020 and to 2 percent by 2025 at the latest.

“In fact, we are not pressed to do so, but we made the commitment on entering NATO (in 1999),” Stropnicky said.

According to the Finance Ministry’s proposal, a mere 1.16 percent of GDP is to go to defence in 2020. That is why Stropnicky wants to take up the issue with new Finance Minister Ivan Pilny (ANO) because the draft state budget for 2018 counts with lower spending on defence than supposed.

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