Australian defence and security capabilities showcased in Malaysia

27 May 2016

Australian expertise in defence and security technology was promoted to key industry buyers attending Asia’s leading conference Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2016 held in Malaysia late last month.

Austrade and the Department of Defence collaborated to showcase the capabilities of 18 participating Australian companies at DSA 2016 - internationally recognised as a hub for the world defence and security industries’ business sourcing activities.

Participating companies at DSA 2016 represented fields such as aerospace engineering and consulting; defence systems integration consulting; safety and rescue equipment and training; communications equipment and tactical radios; military craft supplies; security information management; ballistic eye and face protection and military and civil aviation maintenance.

Naila Mazzucco, Austrade’s Kuala Lumpur-based Trade Commissioner, said Malaysia is dependent on foreign suppliers, so the event was an ideal platform to highlight offerings Australian companies can provide.

‘Participants were able to gain increased exposure and access to key players and decision makers, because the DSA, a tri-service international defence event, brought together key political figures, military leaders and industry representatives from across the globe,’ said Mazzucco.

‘This was particularly important as Malaysia's defence sector has largely developed from the provision of maintenance and logistics support for foreign-built equipment for commercial and military aircrafts.’

With Malaysia’s ASEAN neighbours investing heavily in upgrading their defence capabilities, the Malaysian Government is also seeking to modernise and enhance its own fleet. This has become a priority in light of the regional security concerns and the rapidly changing security landscape.

‘This focus now opens additional opportunities for Australian business to build on the A$366 million of defence equipment Australia exported to Malaysia in 2015,’ she added.

Australia’s Defence Force has also established a strong relationship with its Malaysian counterpart through the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the Malaysia-Australia Joint Defence Program. Australia is also Malaysia’s major source of external military training.

Australian participants at DSA received in-country defence market briefings from key military and government officials, and advice on how to access operations and operate in Malaysia. Austrade also facilitated business matching meetings with Malaysian defence and oil and gas procurement representatives.

Ms Mazzucco said Australian businesses were advised of the importance of developing partnerships with local defence companies given the various routes to market and having the right partner.

‘A good local partner can enhance market strategy, distribution network, marketing and is critical to pursing opportunities to supply the Malaysian Government; as it is very rare to secure contracts directly,’ said Mazzucco.

More than 42,500 visitors and 344 delegations from 45 nations attended DSA this year. The event also attracted 1,500 of the world’s leading players from over 60 countries and included 30 international group pavilions.

As part of DSA 2016, a Chief of Army Roundtable Talks (ChART) was held highlighting pertinent regional issues and involved a host of regional Chiefs of Army. A Cyber Security Forum was also held and focused on transnational crime and non-conventional threats.

Visit Austrade’s website to read more about the market opportunities in Malaysia or contact Austrade on 13 28 78 or email