18/04/2024 11:16 AM

By Ahmad Syabil Sultan Noordin Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Bernama) -- Defence exhibitions in neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines are gaining world attention following the increasing defence budget allocations in the countries each year.

The rise of defence exhibitions in the Asian region is posing a challenge to Malaysia to make the Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security Exhibition (NATSEC) Asia to remain relevant.

DSA 2024 executive director Nadzeem Abdul Rahman said at one time the country's defence budget was relatively high, but nowadays, the increase is not as expected by many.

"I see that the country that spends the most on defence systems in the region is Singapore, followed by Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, but what is interesting is the fifth country, the Philippines.

"The defence budget of the Philippines already exceeds that of our country. So, of course it will have an impact on the organisation of exhibitions like DSA if we do not take an approach that makes the exhibitors see it has value for them to participate," he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama recently.

The 18th edition of DSA and NATSEC Asia 2024 is scheduled to take place at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) from May 6 to 9 .

According to Nadzeem, exhibitors will certainly be inclined to participate in defence exhibitions in countries that spend more on defence.

"For example, if a supplier gets a contract with Indonesia, of course they will participate in the exhibition held in Indonesia and if they have already gone to that country, it will be difficult for the supplier involved to attend and participate in the DSA organised by our country," he said.

He said the increase in cost is another obstacle that his organisation faces, besides there are various other similar exhibitions held around the world, making the exhibitors having to make choices on their participation.

"The cost of organising this exhibition has also increased significantly. "Prices for logistics, services and supplies have doubled, thus putting additional pressure on the financial resources of the organisation," he said.

But despite these challenges, Nadzeem is confident that DSA and NATSEC Asia 2024 will achieve success like the last DSA which has shown an increase in each edition to almost three times its size to become one of the main events in the global defence and security industry calendar.

So far, 30 countries have confirmed participation in the biennial exhibition, including the United States, China, Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, France, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom.

In total, the DSA and NATSEC Asia 2024 Exhibition will record the participation of more than 1,200 companies from 45 countries with a focus on local industry development and international cooperation.


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