Maritime defence show in S'pore next year to be region's biggest yet
PARIS - Asia-Pacific's largest maritime defence show will be the biggest yet when it returns to Singapore in May next year, as countries in the region continue to raise their military spending.
The International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Imdex) Asia sold more than S$1 million worth of exhibition space for the ninth edition of the biennial show. This means over 80 per cent of the available space has been taken up.
Ms Angelica Lim, general manager of Experia Events' Aerospace and Defence Group, which organises Imdex Asia, attributed the brisk sales to the growth of Asia- Pacific's naval market in a time of shrinking military spending in the West: "Europe and the US are all in the doldrums, with weak economies and budget cuts. Asia-Pacific is the only bright spark now."
Defence spending by China, India, South Korea and Taiwan reached US$224 billion (S$274 billion) last year, nearly double what it was in 2000, according to a study by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. In South-east Asia, defence budgets grew 4.85 per cent last year. Singapore's defence bill accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the region's spending.