May 18, 2022 – 10:05
Distinguished Ministerial Leadership, Representatives of the Departments of Defense, Commerce, and State; Honored leaders of the military; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is an honor and pleasure to welcome you as we celebrate the opening of the 2022 Black Sea Defense and Aerospace Exhibition.
First, I would like to thank Justin for the introduction today and for all of your efforts, he and Sebastian’s and the entire TNT team’s for putting together an amazing show this week. I believe it is the largest BSDA show ever put together, and I anticipate it will also be one of the most productive. So, well done, congratulations to that!
And to the nearly 400 exhibitors from over 30 countries and the representatives of the militaries and security organizations from throughout the Black Sea region and beyond – you are what make this event so important to the region’s air, sea, land
defense and homeland security sectors. Thank you for being here and thank you for all you do.
The Black Sea Defense and Aerospace show and conference has grown in size and impact since the first event in 2008. On a positive note, this reflects Romania’s economic growth and its ascension with both the EU and NATO. It also shows the increasing strength and importance of Romanian defense and security agencies in defending peace and stability in the Black Sea region.
Unfortunately, as the events since February 24th demonstrate, the critical need to ensure the ability of the Romanian military, as well as that of its Black Sea neighbors, to protect themselves from regional aggressors is also a factor in the growth and importance of the BSDA.
Putin’s war in Ukraine has brought back the horrors of the Second World War and Russia’s ceaseless efforts to destabilize the Black Sea Region now threaten Europe and the world. We are all vividly reminded of this every day.
This means that Romania and the Black Sea Region are—now more than ever—integral to Europe’s defense and its economies. NATO remains strong, ready, and
able to fulfill its Article V commitments and Romania is showing that it is strongly committed to NATO and Europe. The Alliance is strong thanks to Allies such as Romania—thank you for your continued contributions, particularly for your dedication to defense modernization.
The bilateral strategic partnership is twenty-five years old, and it grows stronger every year. Of the nearly 400 exhibitors at BSDA that I mentioned earlier, nearly 60 this year are American companies. Your participation is a very visible sign of the strong partnership and unshakeable friendship between our nations.
It is not only the big U.S. defense firms, like AM General, Boeing, General Atomics-Aerospace Systems Inc., General Dynamics, Honeywell, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, Oshkosh and Raytheon, some of whom already have a presence here, and today are helping build that partnership.
There are also many small- and medium-sized U.S. defense firms that are participating in this year’s exhibition. Their presence shows the wide variety and expertise that U.S. companies offer in the defense and security sectors.
U.S. defense firms embody every high-technology manufacturing segment of this industry. They are at the forefront of innovation…delivering new technologies that raise the bar for others. I am keen to go out here now, in a few minutes, and walk the exhibition hall this morning and see the impressive products that they and our NATO partner exhibitors are displaying.
To all the U.S. exhibitors, we want you to know that our Embassy is committed to supporting your efforts to expand existing industry partnerships, and to foster new business contacts. Feel free to call on us whenever an opportunity or need arises.
To Romania and all our Black Sea region partners, you should know that the Embassy and the United States are committed to you as well, as NATO allies and as economic and trade partners. I invite you to visit the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service and Department of Defense Office of Defense Cooperation. They are in the booth in hall B (number 1426, to be exact) and you should stop by and talk about current and future collaboration.
To all BSDA participants, I wish you success at the show and in your efforts to improve the safety, security, and stability of this beautiful and vital region.
Thank you All