Kuldar Vaarsi, chairman of the Estonian Defense Industry Association, believes the U.S. market continues to offer the best growth potential for the country’s defense exports.
One of the two principal markets where the Estonian defense industry was already doing business and selling was the United States. In the industry’s efforts to sell there, the state’s support had been very important and necessary, Vaarsi told BNS on Friday.
“The other region where we see great potential, and to which some companies have already exported is the Middle East, or Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Jordan,” Vaarsi added.
According to Vaarsi, in the Middle East it is particularly important that partners can be confident that companies who want to enter the local market are trustworthy. On top of that, Estonia needs to have reason to trust them as well, and to be reasonably sure that the defense industry is considered important and valued by the export country.
While exports to the Middle East have been rather modest, cyber defense deals worth tens of millions of dollars have been concluded in the U.S., Vaarsi said. Furthermore, Estonian contractors were participating in tenders worth hundreds of millions, the winners of which were still to be announced.
“The United States is indisputably and uncontestedly the largest defense market in the world, and the growth potential there is huge,” Vaarsi observed.
The principal export articles of the Estonian defense industry had been cyber defense and smart solutions such as sensors, drones, and unmanned ground vehicles, Vaarsi said.
The Ministry of Defense is currently mapping out a variety of actions for the 2017-2019 period in partnership with the Estonian Defense Industry Association to increase defense exports to €25 million by 2019.
Editor: Dario Cavegn