KIELCE, Poland, Sept 3 Poland on Wednesday
brought small defence manufacturers into a consortium big enough
to bid, alongside foreign majors, for a share of the country's
$40 billion military modernisation pot.
The Polish Arms Group (PGZ), set to comprise over 30
companies ranging from a shipyard to a high-tech graphene
manufacturer, will allow the country's fragmented industry to
compete for state tenders against large foreign companies.
"We're creating the largest defence consortium in this part
of the world," said PGZ's chief executive Wojciech Dabrowski at
a consolidation ceremony on Tuesday.
"We're doing what other developed countries have done
before, achieving significant business success."
Following the consolidation, the unlisted consortium's
valuation will reach 6 billion zlotys ($1.9 billion), Treasury
Minister Wlodzimierz Karpinski, also present, told reporters.
The group will employ around 16,000 people and have an
estimated annual income of 4.5 billion zlotys ($1.4 billion).
Poland currently spends 1.95 percent of its GDP on the army,
one of the highest rates of military spending, with a further
increase in the defence budget planned for 2016.
PGZ could also serve as a potential contractor in tenders
awarded to foreign bidders. Polish industry's participation in
manufacturing and servicing will be a significant factor in
awarding procurements, according to defence ministry.
(1 US dollar = 3.1932 Polish zloty)
(Reporting By Wiktor Szary, editing by David Evans)