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Military Trade Show To Be Launched In The Philippines

April 7, 2014

US UH-1Y Helicopter

Three months from now the Philippines can enjoy its own locally oriented marketplace for international arms and equipment.

This is ADAS 2014, or the Asian Defence, Security & Crisis Management Exhibition and Conference, a military and security trade show spanning three days–from July 16 to 17.

Singapore-based Asia Expo Pte Ltd is responsible for bringing an estimated 200 merchants and suppliers to the World Trade Center, a spacious venue in Manila.

ADAS 2014’s organizers are the same people behind Singapore’s biennial Global Security Asia series.

ADAS 2014 isn’t just an arms show but a meeting place for professionals in government, emergency services, and security. It’s a networking opportunity as well, with exhibitors, generals, foreign delegates, and even the Philippine president among its guests.

The raison d’etre for ADAS 2014 is to take advantage of the Philippine military’s modernization program. Another motivator is the narrative of the Philippines’ economic growth, where the Southeast Asian archipelago’s GDP figures have ranked among the region’s highest since 2011.

From the organizer:

On December 11, 2012, Republic Act no. 10349 came into force, this is known as the ‘AFP Modernisation Act’ and is a 15-year defence modernisation programme with initial funding of 75 billion pesos being allocated for the first period of the programme. Unlike previous defence modernisation efforts in the Philippines, this time contracts are being awarded and money is being spent. All of which has resulted in the Philippines rapidly becoming one of the most active and interesting defence and security marketplaces in Southeast Asia.

The current administration under President Benigno Aquino is facing a grave external threat after China seized parts of the Philippines’ western maritime border. The government has since been scrambling to improve its defense capability.

To deter further incidents, there is a genuine focus on re-equipping the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and relevant agencies. As 2013 ended a contract for 12 South Korean FA-50 jets for the air force was finalized during a state visit. Although based on the T-50 jet trainer, the FA-50 is the same aircraft converted to a combat role.

According to ADAS 2014’s organizers, the AFP’s comprehensive shopping list reflects its dire need for an upgrade.

The often internally focused armed forces are being reoriented as well. Aside from signing a peace deal with Muslim secessionists last March 17, the Philippine government is also accommodating the US’ ‘Pacific Pivot’ by allowing access to specific military bases.

ADAS 2014 kicks off on July 16. 21st Century Asian Arms Race is a media partner.