Aerospace & Defence: The Defence Sector as a Driver for Growth
(Source: Italian Ministry of Defence; issued April 11, 2019)
ROME --- Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta this morning has taken part in a conference dedicated to “Defence as a Driver for Growth”, organized by Ernst&Young in Rome.

“An increasingly strong effort to facilitate the development of military capabilities by stimulating cooperation among Member States and between the latter and industry is emerging at the European level. PESCO, the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation, is one of the recently adopted instruments we can use to achieve these goals. This is the outline of a new scenario and of new opportunities.

“We will be able to enhance them only by fully understanding the magnitude of ongoing changes, and adopting a synergic and systematic approach to facilitate new technological developments and innovation in the Defence industry, thus strengthening our national capabilities and concurring to the modernization of the Armed Forces while offering our country further opportunities at the economic, industrial and employment level ".

Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta concluded her speech at the "Defence as a Driver for Growth for the National Economy" conference with these auspices. The event - that has taken place today in Rome- was organized by Ernst&Young (EY).

The CEO of EY, Donato Iacovone, held the opening speech. The conference was also attended by Undersecretary of State for Defence Raffaele Volpi, Chief of Defence, Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, Defence Secretary General/NAD, Gen. Nicolò Falsaperna, Leonardo CEO, Alessandro Profumo, AIAD (Italian Federation of Aerospace, Defence and Security Industries) Chairman and Secretary General, Guido Crosetto and Carlo Festucci, respectively.

Topics in the agenda included the impact of the current geo-political context; cyber-warfare and the new hybrid threats; the effects of the digital switch-over and the use of new-generation armaments; dual use of technologies; conversion of the production chain toward a 4.0 Industry; adopting an open approach toward other innovative sectors and new competences.

"In light of the persistently critical macro-economic framework, and coherently with our will to improve and make the Defence sector more efficient, the Armed Forces are called to continue with determination on the path to their restructuring and rationaliation, i,e, a fundamental strategic resource for our country", the Minister said. She continued by explaining that, in order to guarantee the indispensable funding level to safeguard and increase the Armed Forces' operational capabilites it is necessary to work at two differnt levels.

On the one hand, we must... "adopt an innovative approach to funding policies for the military, avoiding to restrain them within the limits of the expenditure concept. They must be perceived as fruitful investments for the Country, able to promote research, employment and development". On the other hand: " We must guarantee that assigned resources be used in the most effective and virtuous way".

"Balancing the qualitative and quantitative dimensions of the military is one of the main challenges for the Defence Ministry. It is a commitment that we must meet on a continued basis, in order to allow the Country to have modern, joint, integrated, effective and sustainable Armed Forces", the Minister added.

"Rather than being a niche for excellence, the defence industry and the whole sector are a real multiplier for the growth of our national industry", Elisabetta Trenta said. She also reassured the audience on the attention paid to the enhancement of the sector, saying that that commitment is a priority for the Government and the Ministry of Defence in particular. "That's why- the Minister said- in my recently issued Three-Year Defence Policy Guidelines I have clearly underscored the requirement to facilitate the further development - in synergy with the academia and the private sector, at both the national and international level- of an increasingly strong, modern and effective industrial base".

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, in his speech underscored the importance of concretely supporting the defence sector: "We are aware that a smart, forward-looking industrial policy, if adequately supported, can only facilitate the development of the defence sector, generating returns along all the national production line", he said.

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