Malaysia’s dreams of becoming a regional leader in aerospace received a boost today from UK-based BAE Systems, which said it was keen to revitalize the two countries’ relationship. The group’s business development director, Alan Garwood, said he would be keen to discuss issues with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is on an official tour of the UK this week.

PM Najib met with 20 major industry players at an official dinner to discuss possible Malaysian collaborations.

Malaysia has earmarked aerospace as a potential major industry, with the government saying it hopes to become a big player in aircraft component manufacture and aircraft repair and maintenance. Do do so would need advances in local training and skills, as well as investment from international aerospace companies like BAE. Conveniently, many aerospace/defense firms have begun to focus on Asia-Pacific and Middle East of late, seeking new markets in emerging economies at a time when developed countries are spending less on their equipment.

Garwood said Malaysia’s growth over the last few years had been “phenomenal”, and unmatched by European countries. BAE Systems is looking to find local partners for joint ventures, and is also hoping to use that leverage to become a defense contractor to the Malaysian government when the Malaysian air force replaces its fleet of 10 MiG-29N fighters soon.

BAE has already teamed up with Malaysia’s Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM).

source & article: Business Times