Türksat Chairman of the Board of Directors and former Minister of National Defense, Vecdi Gönül said that if Turkey passes laws that imposes 50 percent offset on imports, it will provide 300 billion dollars worth of new technology and allow for fresh blood to enter the industry by the year 2021.
As part of the Hacettepe Technokent-ICT Media Meetings, Gönül participated in the seminar on "Defense Industry and Offset Applications on the Path to Liberation from External Dependency."
Pointing out that "offset" applications are among the development secrets of the West, Gönül said that the chance of having your voice heard without proper military backing is not likely.
Emphasizing that in the defense industry the most advanced technology is used and then these technologies are utilized in civilian life, Gönül expressed that this has increased the importance of the defense industry even more.
Gönül summarized the recent policies being followed in the defense industry as "If it’s possible to make it in Turkey than it will absolutely be made in Turkey. If it cannot be made in Turkey, it will be produced jointly. If it has to be acquired from abroad than offset will be applied.”
Pointing out that Turkey has presented important defense products in land, air and marine systems with this approach, Gönül said that Turkey is far ahead of European countries regarding unmanned aerial vehicles and competes with Israel and USA in this field.
Gönül gave information about the offset application’s process, he said:
"When you buy goods, you run the following condition: 'I’ll buy your goods, but you have to buy high-tech products from us.' You put this in the same contract. For example, 'I’ll buy 1 billion liras worth of goods, but you will have to buy 500 million liras worth of goods from me.' This way, the companies that produce products for manufactures are revealed.
“With offset they have to teach the technology to you. It would be unfair to expect this technology from universities. These are production technology, they won’t give it anyone licensed, even if you pay for it. Offset is the best way to do this. Offset is something we discovered later. The West has been using it for years. "
Emphasizing that technology acquisition with offset application is the biggest service for the Turkish industry, Gönül said "Turkey will import 600 billion dollars in communication, information technology, transportation, energy and health services between 2012-2021. If we work together, if we can pass a law where offset is applied to 50 percent of all imports, Turkey will gain 300 billion dollars in new technology and it will allow for fresh blood to enter the industry.”