Georgia Edell, Consulting Analyst - Aerospace, Defense & Security, Frost & Sullivan
Military spending in Southeast Asia has increased tremendously in the past decade. The primary supplier countries (the US, China, and Russia) still play a significant role, along with the EU; however, countries in the region are also pursuing the indigenous defense industry. This is being attempted through technology transfers and offset requirements but will not become the primary means of enhancing capability in the region in the short term.
Countries are allocating higher budgets for defense as a proportion of GDP, much of which is going toward revitalizing maritime capabilities. A key driver of this trend is the continued tension in the region surrounding territorial disputes of the South China Sea. This is forecasted to remain a focal point in the coming years and influence defense decisions and inter-regional and intra-regional relationships. As territorial claims remain a point of contention, many nations are shoring up their maritime fleets and capabilities, especially submarines. By understanding the defense ecosystem through some of the geopolitical, technological, and economic trends of ASEAN, market participants will be better prepared to make strategic decisions for the future.
• South China Sea territorial disputes are driving ASEAN nations to strengthen maritime defense capabilities.
• Increased use of technology transfers and offset requirements are being used in an attempt to support the indigenous defense industry in the region.
• China remains an essential influence in the area as a trade partner and rival claimant in the South China Sea disputes, creating geopolitical and economic implications for ASEAN nations concerning their defense decisions.