‘Unite to benefit from defence industry’

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LANGKAWI: Asean countries must work together to get a bigger slice of the defence industry’s “pie”, Deputy Prime Minister Da-tuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday.

He said it was important for the region to do this.

“We should have an Asean standard (of products) as we have a bigger market.

“I urge Asean nations to unite in translating the Asean Defence Industry Collaboration because the total revenue of this industry will amount to about US$100 billion (RM442 billion) by 2030. Malaysia (and other Asean nations) have to take the opportunity to participate in the industry collaboration.”

He said this after the launching of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017 (Lima) by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

With collaboration between Asean nations, Zahid said, there would be opportunities that would benefit member countries and “upgrade” them.

“Asean should not be regarded as end users, but should be upgraded to ‘friendly collaborators’ when it comes to the defence industry. Malaysia produces the M4 (carbines for Colt) and we are producing some components for aircraft… We have been sharing the transfer of technology and knowledge.

“We (Home Ministry) are collaborating with Mindef (Defence Ministry) as we do not want to and should not be left behind in the defence and security industries… We want to participate and grow with these industries.”

On this year’s Lima, Zahid said the exhibition had come a long way from its first in 1991. There were only 99 exhibitors then as compared with more than 500 this year.-NST

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