25/05/2023 03:55 PM

By V.Sankara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Bernama) -- The 16th edition of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2023 has emerged as a watershed moment in the flourishing United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Malaysia partnership, with defence and security cooperation taking centre stage.

Dubbed as one of the most significant maritime and aerospace exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific region, this year’s LIMA exhibition served as a platform for EDGE, a prominent UAE defence conglomerate, to bolster its presence in Southeast Asia.

The defence exhibition also holds a great significance for the defence and security cooperation between Malaysia-UAE as it was jointly graced by Malaysia’s Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was in Malaysia for a four-day special visit since May 21.

The biennial event themed “The Nexus of Asia’s Maritime and Aerospace Trade” from May 23-27 at Malaysia’s resort island of Langkawi is participated by over 525 exhibitors, including 140 companies from the defence industry, 101 companies from the commercial sector and 284 companies from both sectors.

 During the exhibition, Caracal International, part of the EDGE Group (EDGE), announced the signing of an agreement with Malaysian-based Ketech Asia, an advanced ammunition producer and small arms solutions provider, for the production and resale of Caracal’s assault rifle CAR 816 in Malaysia.

Under the agreement, the two companies will conduct a transfer of technology that will enable Ketech Asia to assemble the highly reliable, mission-proven CAR 816 rifle at its new facilities in Pahang in support of the Royal Malaysia Armed Forces requirements.

Cooperation will also take place to review the potential in co-developing new firearms, and Ketech Asia will become an official reseller of the rifle with the aim to increase sales of regionally manufactured advanced products and solutions in markets across Southeast Asia.

This move underscored EDGE’s confidence in developing valuable and mutually beneficial industry partnerships in Malaysia.

Mansour AlMulla, Managing Director and CEO of EDGE, was reported to have said that the company was proud to be showcasing its advanced capabilities across air, land, and maritime domains at LIMA 2023, as well as developing strategic relationships in Southeast Asia. 

“The UAE and Malaysia share a warm history of cooperation, and we are committed to strengthening these ties even further by developing valuable partnerships across the region,” he was quoted as saying.

During LIMA 2023, Al-Sultan Abdullah and Sheikh Khaled visited the Gading Marine Fast Inspector Craft G200 MKII and the booth of local aerospace company Gading Group.

The royal visitors then proceeded to visit other booths, namely Sapura Secured Technologies, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd, as well as the UAE’s The Edge Group involved in military weaponry and related technologies.

Al-Sultan Abdullah then joined Sheikh Khaled, who is also Abu Dhabi Executive Council chairman, to watch the airshow mounted by aerobatic teams from various countries including UAE’s Al-Fursan which performed a spectacular formation using seven Aermacchi MB339A jets.

Al-Fursan which means ‘The Knights’ made its debut in Jan 20, 2010.

While in Malaysia, Sheikh Khaled had an audience with Al-Sultan Abdullah at Istana Negara (National Palace) on Tuesday after a meeting with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim a day earlier.

The UAE is Malaysia's second-largest trading partner, second-largest export destination and second-largest import market in the West Asian region.

Sheikh Khaled's special visit is poised to further strengthen the long-standing good relationship between Malaysia and the UAE, which was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership on Sept 27, 2022.


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