The Asia-Pacific region is now the world's second largest naval market, with projected spending of over 200 billion U.S.dollars in the next two decades on more than 1,000 ships, according to an overview by Experia, organizer of the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference ( IMDEX) Asia.
The IMDEX Asia 2013, the ninth edition of the biennial event, held its official opening ceremony on Tuesday, featuring 194 participating companies from 29 countries around the world.
The organizer's knowledge partner, a U.S.-based consultancy company named AMI International, revealed at the press conference that in a 20-year period, the world naval market will reach a total spending of 800 billion dollars, a quarter of which will be spent in the Asia-Pacific region.
"That is about 3,000 news ships and submarines, of that about 1, 000 of those, one third, are being procured in the Asia-Pacific region. Those two numbers alone tell you the significance of the Asia-Pacific region," Bob Nugent, vice president of the Advisory Service in AMI International said in an interview.
Nugent said the huge potential naval market in the Asia-Pacific region will be mainly driven by its increased reliance on the sea for trade. Meanwhile, the positive economic growth of the countries in this region will also provide funding for naval investments.
The changing global security environment also requires "all aspect" naval capability.
"Our firm forecasts naval spending on new ships and submarines and, as we've done this over the last five years, it's been remarkable to watch the transition of the Asia-Pacific region from an interesting market to the world's second largest market, and that's not just a few countries," Nugent added.
Nugent said many of the countries in the region have developed first-rate naval technologies, not only for their own domestic use, but also for the world market. "China is one of them," he added.
Besides the exhibition, some 15 warships, including latest patrol vessels, frigates, corvettes and destroyers, from nine countries including Australia, Malaysia, France, South Korea and Singapore, are also displayed at the berth of the city-state's Changi Naval Base.
The USS Freedom (LCS-1), the newly deployed Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) of U.S. navy, is also opened to the trade visitors here.
Its manufacturer, the defense major Lockheed Martin, also promoted their next-generation Multimission Combat Ship (MCS) on Tuesday. They said the MCS is the international edition of LCS and. With a shallow draught, it can execute missions in the coastal waters or open seas typical of Southeast Asia with equal adeptness.
Jiang Weilie, commander of South China Sea Fleet of China's navy, also attended the conference. He is scheduled to make a speech at International Maritime Security Conference on Wednesday, exchanging ideas with naval leaders on maritime security issues.