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The Fourteenth edition of the International Defence Equipment and Services Exhibition, known as “Hemus 2020”, took place from 30 September to 3 October 2020 at the International Fair Plovdiv. The Event was one of the few worldwide carried out physically due to heavy pandemic restrictions and economic difficulties. Enormous efforts were made by the Organisers to comply with all crisis requirements and to assure not only attractive, but also safe, conditions for exhibitors and visitors. Overall, despite the complex situation, the commercial parameters achieved at Hemus 2020 exceeded by 10 to 50 per cent those of the previous edition.

A Growing Event

Bulgarian Academia showed a much higher interest compared to previous years, as the exhibition was attended by 12 Scientific bodies and Universities, of which six were military and six civilian. Among our distinguished exhibitors we hosted a US Army contingent which took part in the Static Display together with Bulgarian military units, as well as US Air Force fighters, which participated together with helicopters from the Bulgarian Air Force in the Live Demonstrations. This Edition aroused widespread interest and visits by a number of representatives of Bulgarian state institutions, including

  • official delegations
  • guests of the Minister of Defence
  • ambassadors
  • defence and trade attachés from diplomatic missions accredited in Sofia
  • representatives of Bulgarian and foreign business

The expo was visited by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, two Deputy Prime Ministers and a number of ministers, the Chief of Defence, the Commanders of the Services, Generals, and Admirals. The total number of visitors of at Hemus 2020 and its accompanying events surpassed 3,000 people, which represents a significant increase compared to the previous edition in 2018. The expo, which was covered by representatives of over 36 Bulgarian and foreign media, covered:

  • the full cycle of the development of a defiance product or service
  • education and training
  • innovation, research and development
  • production
  • commercialisation
  • acquisition
  • lifecycle support
  • utilisation.

Expanded international participation and the strong international, European and Euro-Atlantic interest in the exhibition have turned it into a high international forum for the realisation of interests, in the domains of: “business-to-business”, “state-to-state” and “business-to-state”. Thus, Hemus 2020 proved to be not a growing success, but also confirmed itself as the most reliable partner in a crisis for National and International Institutions, the Armed Forces, Defence Industries and Academic Communities.

Jack Richardson