ECCO Symposium Focuses On UAE, Brazil & SMEs
Clear links between the offset policy, the economy and the industry
in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were detailed and analyzed at the
European Club for Countertrade and Offsets� (ECCO) fourth symposium
held at Eurosatory in Paris in June 2012.
The UAE policy focuses on the defense industry and manufacturing,
aiming to ensure that the UAE advances from a defense buyer to a
defense supplier. Debates concentrated on the fact that the concept
of countertrade is globally now more important than ever to develop
trade opportunities for countries outside their current markets;
with defense contractors acting as important facilitators.
The UAE forum was followed by an array of presentations by Brazilian
industry, the Ministry of Defense, the Brazilian Air Force and the
Brazilian Defense and Security Industries Association, ABIMDE. The
forum of Brazil included a view on the impact of anti-corruption
laws on Brazilian companies.
Brazil aims to promote the balance of productive forces between
competitive companies. The national strategy of defense ensures new,
high-profile programs, which have to align with the MoD-issued
guidelines for industrial participation. Obligors have to assist in
fulfilling the interests of the air force, army and navy, each
imposing offset obligations best suited to their own respective
The focus of offset in Brazil is on economic development, and
technology and business cases have to be sustainable. It was
mentioned that offset is not a strategy, but a tool to reach the
defense contractors� strategy.
Offset implies that defense prime-contractors reorganize their
supply chains, thus offset can directly influence the business
activities of defense sub-contractors. Day two of the symposium
comprised a workshop on offset and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs),
bringing offset mechanisms and their potential impacts on SMEs into
the spotlight. Various OEMs teamed up with their foreign
sub-contractors to share their experiences.
The process of negotiating and implementing industrial cooperation
The benefits that direct offsets ensure to countries purchasing
Overcoming cultural differences
Aligning operational activities and quality standards
Managing logistics and delivery dates
The transfer of skills, technology and know-how
Building long-term international teams
Success stories and best practices
Experiences were shared by Rheinmetall (Germany) and Cargotec
(Canada), Kongsberg (Norway) and Oricopa (Finland), RUAG Defense
(Switzerland) and VDL Technologies (Netherlands), and Areva (France)
with Pilatus (Switzerland) and Foskor (South Africa).
Cilas (France) shared their experiences in Spain, Atermes and Thales
Communication (both from France) offered their views on offset in
Malaysia, while Oktal SE focused on an indirect offset experience
between major and small companies.
The roundtable discussion at the end of the day ensured interesting
and sometimes heated debates, including some postulations and future
total of 300 delegates from 30 countries registered for the ECCO
symposium. Symposium No. 5 will be held in Frankfurt on 14 and 15
November, 2012, focusing on industrial participation and local
content requirements in China for military and civil contracts, as
well as consulting and finance in the offset regime.
For more information or inquiries
is an European association for companies, individuals and
institutions involved in offset and countertrade. The association
organizes symposiums where members and guests can unravel matters
related to trade, international law and government procurement.
Offset research and training are also aims of ECCO.