Speaking on the eve of Defense & Security Thailand 2017, Alexis Hammer, the UK Department of International Trade Defence & Security Organisation Regional Director for Pacific and East Asia, said, “The region continues to be the growth market for the United Kingdom.”
“It is the most dynamic region with great opportunities for the UK. Tier 2 UK businesses doubled defence and security exports last year with government support.
“There is a movement toward really advanced generation equipment and Asia is increasingly a more discriminating market. Countries want to become more involved in the development and manufacture of the equipment they require. This is where the UK has the advantage of a long history of working with local partners. This now includes technology transfer and the assistance of specialist export and training teams.
“The UK’s strategy is increasingly focussing on technology transfer which is what government customers are now demanding. They are no longer satisfied with buying off-the-shelf equipment. Singapore is a market leader when it comes to understanding all forms of advanced defence technology, including cyber defence.
“The establishment of regional hubs is also vital for the provision of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), through-life support and training are essential for more effective operations in the region. BAE Systems, Airbus Defence & Space and Rolls-Royce have led the way in the sphere of the market.
“The Royal Air Force’s Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) Voyager and A400M Atlas multi-role transport aircraft have recently visited Thailand and have stimulated a lot of interest in the region. Australia, Singapore and South Korea are acquiring the A330 MRTT while Indonesia and Malaysia have ordered A400Ms. UK companies are involved in the manufacture of both aircraft.
“External dynamics in the region are determining future defence and security requirements. The steady expansion of Chinese power in the South China Sea is presenting a challenge for maritime security and air defence. There is a growing market for modern submarines and a recognition that more must be done to ensure the safe passage of international trade shipping in the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca in particular.
“Thailand is revising its industrial policy and offsets are increasingly important when conducting business with the country. The UK has a very good relationship with Thailand which has a clear view of what it is trying to achieve. It is a centre for prime contractors and businesses and one of the best networking areas in the region. The UK encourages this relationship by hosting a large number of trade delegations from Thailand. The UK Department of International Trade Defence & Security Organisation is pleased to be able to support Defense & Security 2017.”