‘LO­CAL FIRMS CAN EX­PLOIT UK MARKET’

UK govt im­pressed with high-qual­ity equip­ment pro­duced in Malaysia

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

HANI SHAMIRA SHAHRUDIN LANGKAWI shamira@nst.com.my

THE United King­dom (UK) gov­ern­ment en­cour­ages Malaysian com­pa­nies to bid for the sup­ply of equip­ment to its armed forces.

UK Trade and In­vest­ment, De­fence and Se­cu­rity Or­gan­i­sa­tion se­nior press of­fi­cer Adam Thomas said af­ter at­tend­ing the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace ex­hi­bi­tion (Lima) for sev­eral years, the UK gov­ern­ment was highly im­pressed by the in­vest­ments and re­search made by Malaysian com­pa­nies, re­sult­ing in the pro­duc­tion of high-qual­ity equip­ment.

“The UK gov­ern­ment is invit­ing Malaysian com­pa­nies to sup­ply equip­ment to our armed forces.

“They can visit our web­site www.con­tracts.mod.uk and reg­is­ter their (prod­ucts and) ca­pa­bil­i­ties with the Depart­ment of De­fence.

“We are very im­pressed with the Malaysian com­pa­nies here,” he said.

Thomas urged Malaysian com­pa­nies to form joint ventures with their Bri­tish coun­ter­parts to ac­cess the UK market.

“We would like to see Malaysian com­pa­nies not only sup­ply­ing to the Royal Malaysian Air Force, but also the (UK) De­fence Min­istry.

“We would like to wel­come you to the UK market... there are no bar­ri­ers, but the chal­lenges are, of course, that they would have to main­tain equip­ment which are about 9,656km or 11,265km away.”

At present, some 42 per cent of equip­ment used by the Bri­tish armed forces are supplied by for­eign coun­tries.

Asked if there was any spe­cific sec­tor that the UK gov­ern­ment was aim­ing for, Thomas said there were no re­stric­tions for ap­pli­ca­tions.

He said his team had been look­ing at the qual­ity of ve­hi­cles, air­craft, equip­ment and mar­itime assets and this had made an im­pres­sion on them, enough for the gov­ern­ment to want to en­cour­age Malaysian com­pa­nies to ap­ply to sup­ply the UK.

“If they suc­cess­fully sup­ply to the UK, we can have joint agree­ments to sup­ply to third-party mar­kets across the world. We hope we can work closer with the Malaysian de­fence in­dus­try.

“If it (the equip­ment) is good enough for the Malaysian armed forces, why shouldn’t it be good enough for the UK armed forces too?”

Thomas said sup­ply­ing equip­ment to the UK armed forces would also do won­ders to the cred­i­bil­ity of Malaysian com­pa­nies and this would, in turn, be a step­ping stone for ex­pan­sion around the world.

The UK gov­ern­ment, he said, would be us­ing Lima 2017 as a plat­form to in­vite Malaysian com­pa­nies to look for op­por­tu­ni­ties in the UK market. An im­pres­sive demon­stra­tion of over­whelm­ing fire­power at the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace 2017 Ex­hi­bi­tion at Re­sorts World Langkawi yes­ter­day.

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