The Secretary of Defense Products, Air Major Brigadier Rui Chagas Mesquita, participated in a meeting held by the Brazilian Association of Defense and Security Industries last Tuesday (24)

Structuring a broad database for a better situational awareness of the Defense Industrial Base, tax simplification, fostering productivity and technological development are among the priorities of the new Secretary of Defense Products (Seprod), of the Ministry of Defense, Air Major-Brigadier Rui Chagas Mesquita. He discussed these and other topics with ABIMDE members (Brazilian Association of Defense and Security Industries), during the monthly plenary session held last Tuesday (24).

The meeting, in online format, was attended by about 100 members and guests. The plenary was opened by the President of the Board of Directors of ABIMDE, Dr. Roberto Gallo, who greeted all participants in the person of Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen, Commander of the Brazilian Navy, represented by Lieutenant Muradas, passing the word to Brigadier Mesquita.

Opening of the Plenary

The Secretary of Defense Products made his presentation from the MD, in Brasilia, along with part of his team: Brigadier Antonio Ferreira de Lima Júnior, Director of the Department of Commercial Promotion; Brigadier Alex Orçay Reis, Director of the Department of Defense Financing and Economics; Colonel Rafael Aquino dos Santos, coordinator of the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, representing the director, General Carlos Eduardo da Mota Góes; Sea and War Captain Leonardo José Trindade de Gusmão, General Coordinator of the Department of Defense Products, and the Manager of the Seprod Office and Special Advisor for Foreign Trade, Juliana Ribeiro Larenas.

When opening the presentation, Brigadier Mesquita praised the work done by his predecessors at the head of Seprod, highlighting the work done by Dr. Marcos Degaut and General Luis Antônio Duizit Brito, and revealed the choice of two words as the main aspects of his administration: continuity and productivity.

The first, explained the Secretary, refers to giving continuity to the mission that was started with the creation of the Ministry of Defense, for the implementation and strengthening of the Defense Industrial Base. The second, productivity, indicates that Seprod will follow the guidelines of the new government, which has as its maxim the reindustrialization of the Brazilian industrial park, seeking disruptive solutions, with technological and innovative bases.

The Brigadier said that the main objective of Seprod is to keep the focus on PAED (Defense Articulation and Equipment Plan) and on the production, employment and training needs of the Armed Forces. “This is a warning to our Defense Industrial Base: look at our Defense Articulation and Equipment Plan [PAED], there are our needs.”

New Industrial Policy

The Secretary believes that the MDIC (Ministry of Industry and Commerce Development) will implement a modern industrial development policy, which will also benefit the Defense Industrial Base.

“One of the first acts of the new government was to create the National Council for Industrial Development, which will converge public and private discourse, and, certainly, will work on the bottlenecks of incentives to increase our industrial production, in the sense of competitiveness, exports and, mainly, serving the domestic market,” said Brigadier Mesquita.
Considering the technological and export vocation of Defense, he said that Seprod has already started a good relationship with the departments that can contribute to the development of the Defense Industrial Base (BID), mainly the MDIC, MCTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) and the MRE (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

“With MDIC, we are in a close articulation in the sense of having our guarantees and increasing our financing. This is a great challenge, which I see as one of the main goals for this year”, he cited as an example.

Another urgency highlighted by the Secretary is the need for simplification and tax equality in foreign trade, remembering that this was one of the first guidelines that the President of ABIMDE presented to him.

Science, Technology and Innovation

Throughout the presentation, Brigadier Mesquita emphasized scientific and technological development as a premise for industrial development and increased competitiveness of the Defense Industry.

In this sense, he points out that the approximation of BNDES to MCTI, also announced by the new government, would also represent an advance for the Defense Industry, since it will be another player in the promotion of competitiveness and exports of products with higher added value.

On the productivity agenda, he also highlighted the need for training and qualification of skilled labor, the fusion of Industry 4.0 technologies, the focus on sustainability, and the insertion of the bio-industry in our Defense Industrial Base.

Request for Collaboration

Brigadier Mesquita took the opportunity to request the collaboration of ABIMDE and the companies of the Defense Industrial Base in pressing actions that could contribute to the sector’s growth, focusing on: productivity bottlenecks, institutional communication, regulatory agenda, research and development policies, and compensation agreements, among others.

Among these actions, he highlighted the need for regulation and normatization of the Defense Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, the National Policy for the Defense Industrial Base, the Policy for Technological Compensation of Exports and Imports of Defense Products, and the guidelines related to investment processes, insurance and guarantees for exports.

On the latter issue, he said, “we have already sensitized our MDIC Councils and Committees of the importance of providing this support in financing and guarantees for defense product exports.”

Regarding the commercial promotion of the IDB abroad, the Secretary said that Working Groups (WG) are already being created directed to countries interested in doing business with Brazil’s Defense Industrial Base.

“I would like to reinforce that our mission is permanently based on the formulation of our benchmarks, an initiative of strategic value for the permanent development of our Defense Industrial Base. For this, we have to meet the needs of preparation, readiness, employment, equipping and modernization of our Armed Forces,” concluded the Secretary, emphasizing that Seprod is open to receive the demands and to dialog with all the companies in the BID and interested institutions.

After the presentation, the Secretary still talked about four themes forwarded by General Aderico Mattioli, Executive President of ABIMDE: TLE (Special Bidding Term), international fairs, Industry Observatory (to identify internal and external logistics demands) and cataloging of companies and products.

Reminding the audience that he is beginning his third week at the head of Seprod and is still adapting to the functions and experiencing the learning curve phase, Brigadier Mesquita answered the questions assertively:

Special Bidding Term

“The TLE is very important for strengthening the Defense Base, but it has been little used.
I was surprised with this low use because of the importance that it represents for the Defense Industrial Base, mainly in the quality and safety that it gives to the products. I have already asked for a conversation with the three Armed Forces in February to divulge and strengthen this process, and I have also determined that the Commercial Department of SEPROD start planning a workshop, or a seminar, bringing together all the players.

Defense Fairs

“Logically, these are the flagship of commercial promotion. We have the planning already approved for this year, at least until the second semester. We will be present and will encourage all the fairs that are within our reach. For the areas that are not covered by these fairs, we are open to conversations, to think of a special promotion dedicated to them, especially in relation to other countries.
That is why the Working Groups that we are doing with interested countries, for example, we have already received Morocco. We are already arranging with ABIMDE a visit to Apex, and to the Department of Defense and Security Affairs of the MRE. We need this union of efforts so that the fairs generate business.”

Observatory of the Industrial Base

“I missed that here. We need to have a knowledge management system and our functions, especially in relation to the modernization of the Defense Industry cadastre. But it is not only a product registry, we have to draw inferences from this database, so that we can react mainly with regard to foreign trade. It is a demand that is in our strategic goal: the improvement and enhancement of this industry system, so that it has more data and can present inferences and information for our decisions and planning.

Cataloging Defense Products and Companies

The cataloging part in this dual system is in line with what I said, we still really need to foster this base with more data so that we can draw inferences.

The Secretary took the opportunity to ask the IDB companies, especially those certified as ED (Defense Companies) and EED (Defense Strategic Companies), to update their information so that Seprod can make connections and seek ways to foster the development of new products and businesses.

He also pointed out the need to register the results generated to the Defense Industrial Base in fairs, missions, negotiations with embassies, and any actions aimed at commercial promotion. This would allow the measurement and scaling of deliveries toward the IDB’s growth goal.

“The result of our work is what will strengthen our planning for next year. I wanted to put these deliveries on paper, I am sure that with this motivation our top management will have no doubt of our dedication and our presence at these events,” explained the Brigadier.

The President of ABIMDE’s Board of Directors thanked the Secretary’s words and said he was happy with the direction of Seprod’s new management: “Of course we have many concerns that need to be addressed, but I want to believe that taking advantage of what worked well and advancing in what needs advancement is always the most appropriate way”, said Dr. Gallo.

He congratulated Seprod’s intention to seek a better situational awareness by creating a broad database and put ABIMDE as a partner in this endeavor. “Let’s think about how we can assist the Ministry of Defense to have a better situational awareness.”

General Aderico Mattioli, Executive President of ABIMDE, also thanked the Secretary for the presentation and emphasized the constant support that the entity and the entire Defense Industrial Base has received from Seprod’s directorships.

“Certainly, our associates are realizing that despite the short time you have been at the head of the Secretariat, by a personal vocation, by your background, and by the determination you are bringing, those themes that are dear to our associates are being quickly absorbed, identified, and worked on. And, besides giving continuity, you are establishing new goals,” said General Mattioli.

Subjects of Interest to the Sector

Continuing the plenary, General Mattioli opened the agenda about the subjects of interest of the members, talking about ABIMDE’s collaboration with the Legislative Agenda of CNI (National Confederation of Industries) and the creation of the Company, Products and Services Catalog, among other topics.

ABIMDE’s Executive Director, Colonel Armando Lemos, talked about the entity’s participation in the SHOT Show, in Las Vegas, and highlighted the main events and actions scheduled for this year.

The first international fair with the participation of the Brazil Pavilion will be IDEX, between February 19 and 24, in Abu Dhabi (UAE), with the presence of 14 Brazilian companies.

Another important event foreseen in the calendar is LAAD 2023, international defense and security fair that takes place in Rio de Janeiro, in April, with the presence of ABIMDE.

According to the Colonel, the LAAD organizers are offering a small free space to companies participating for the first time in the event, those interested can contact the ABIMDE administration for more information.

Partnerships and New Associates

At the end of the plenary, Colonel Lemos presented the new ABIMDE associated companies:
Energy Source, from São João da Boa Vista (SP); Indústria Nacional de Pinus, from São Paulo (SP); Infinity Safe Tecnologia em Segurança, from São Paulo (SP); Liramax Etiquetas, from São Paulo (SP); and Trilobit Comercio, Montagem e Fabricação de Placas Eletrônicas, from São Paulo (SP).

The CEO welcomed and praised the capabilities of the new members. “I am sure that the new associates will strengthen our entity even more. I reiterate here that ABIMDE is always with its doors open to dialogue with all its associates and willing to listen and meet the demands that can foster and promote the growth of our Defense and Security sector.”

*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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