Defense & Security 22
ASEAN BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES & PARTNERSHIPThe Armed Forces are charged with the command and execution of military operations in times of war as well as peace. They are responsible for maintaining military readiness and also to provide humanitarian assistance wherever necessary during natural or manmade disasters such as terrorism. In addition, they are also charged with preventing human trafficking, border control and counteracting the illicit drug trade. These responsibilities add up to multiple business opportunities for companies and manufacturers at a global level.Today’s security needs have become highly sophisticated and multi-dimensional in nature. New equipment and technology provides the opportunity to reduce exposure to hazards and lowers the vulnerability of people and property while increasing preparedness for both natural disasters and terrorism.Over the years, we have seen steady growth in ASEAN defence and security industries. Data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that ASEAN defence spending registered net increases for all countries, averaging 37.6 percent from 2010-2015. ASEAN countries spent USD 38.2 billion on defence in 2014 and are expected to increase that to USD 40 billion by 2016. In 2015, Thailand’s military expenditure was in the region of USD 5.73 billion – a 15.5% increase between 2010 and 2014. The 2016 defence budget is expected to be around USD 6.3 billion.