On the second day of the 2017 International Defence Exhibition and Confernece (IDEX), which is taking place in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) and Beretta have signed a letter-of-understanding (LoU) to propel the sale of Beretta pistols, shotguns and apparel in Pakistan, Geo News reports.
The LoU was signed by POF chairman Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Hayat, and Beretta’s Director of Sales Antonio Biondo. Celebrating the LoU, Lt. Gen. Hayat said that “joint marketing and cooperation will be made in order to enhance the export marketing.”
Notes & Comments:
The full-text of the LoU has not yet been disclosed. It is not known if it is limited to POF simply retailing imported Beretta products, which is possible if discounts and offsets (with Beretta buying materials from POF) are involved. However, POF’s LoU with Česká zbrojovka (signed in Pakistan in November 2016) did outline negotiations for gradually manufacturing small arms in Pakistan.
If Pakistani demand is sufficiently large, a similar approach with Beretta could be plausible. [Note: In Pakistan defence parlance, it appears that “LoUs” are preliminary agreements scheduling negotiations, whereas memoranda-of-understanding (MoU) are final agreements or inked contracts.]
Beretta was also competing (with the ARX-200) for the Pakistan Army’s requirement for a new 7.62×51 mm battle rifle, which would supplant its legacy Heckler & Koch G-3s.
This is also the second major deal signed with an Italian firearms industry vendor. In November 2016, POF signed an LoU with Fiocchi wherein Fiocchi could buy brass products from POF.