PM: Asia has fastest growing defence expenditure

(The Star) – LANGKAWI: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak opened the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2011 (LIMA ’11), underscoring that defence and security are of paramount importance to regional and national strategic interests.

The Prime Minister pointed out that defence and security ensured not only territorial integrity but also the sovereignty that all countries hold dear.

He said that Asia today enjoyed the fastest-growing economy in the world, and defence expenditure was no exception.

“Aerospace and maritime spending is surging, and is set to rise yet further as governments continue to tackle both traditional and non-traditional security threats,” he said at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC).

More than 400 companies from 35 countries at taking part in the 11th edition of LIMA.

Najib said the government would provide the best tools for the men and women in uniform as “there can be no doubting (their) bravery and heroism.”

“That means giving them the latest, safest, most cutting-edge equipment capable of meeting the challenges of modern warfare.”

He noted that LIMA was not just about the latest military technology as it was also about the commercial sectors of the maritime and aerospace industries which were exhibiting here for the first time.

Over half of the world’s top 100 maritime and aerospace suppliers are present for the show.

According to LIMA organisers, on display are 65 aircraft as well as 14 warships from around the world.