Saab hunts Swiss partners for Gripen deal

May 30, 2013 at 12:25 PM
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LINKOPING, Sweden, May 30 (UPI) -- Swedish defense company Saab is conducting meetings with Swiss firms to discuss potential business opportunities.

The talks are part of the company's effort to obtain a deal with the Swiss government for the procurement of 22 Gripen-E fighters.

The marketing/business opportunities tour involves industrialists in 10 regions of the country.

The decision to procure Gripen has not yet been taken by the Swiss government," Peter Kuratli, director of the St. Gallen Office for Economy and Labor said. "However, for any industrial cooperation to be long-term, work has to start early.

"I ... welcome the industry in the regions of St. Gallen, Thurgau and the Appenzell region to evaluate the subject and take the decisions that they feel appropriate."

Added Beat F. Brunner, member of the board of the industry association Swissmem: "To generate business for the Swiss industrial and technological base must happen in an effective way and as a long-term strategy. This is even more important when it comes to doing business with the defense and security industry."

If Switzerland decides to acquire the Swedish fighters, Saab would be required provide Swiss industry with business equal to the value of the Gripen contract.

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