Defence business not hit by financial crisis: Thales

February 24th, 2009 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Feb 24 (Xinhua) Defence and security businesses have not been impacted by the global financial crisis, Alexandre de Juniac, executive vice president of French defence systems company Thales, has said here.
“We are not affected by the economic crisis in our main businesses, because we are heavily relying on government spending and the defence spending has not been reduced at this stage everywhere in the world,” de Juniac said Monday.

Despite the global economic downturn, he expressed optimism by saying that many governments have launched stimulus plans which are targeting an increase in public spending, so his company will take advantage of these plans.

He was speaking at a press briefing on the sidelines of the ongoing International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2009, the largest arms fair in the Middle East region where 897 companies from 50 countries were participating.

On possible deals to be reached in the defence show, de Juniac said the exhibition provides possibility for negotiations of deals but “I don’t think we have big contract to sign in this exhibition”.

The French company is eyeing orders to the tune of 1.5 billion euros annually from the Middle East in the next three years and is competing for a multi-billion euro defence deal in Saudi Arabia, de Juniac said.

“The Middle East region is extremely important as the need for defence and security is enormous and these countries have the money to invest,” he said.

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing defence, aerospace and security markets worldwide.

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