By Luca Peruzzi
Established in 1997, the biennial IMDEX Asia is the most important international maritime defence show in Asia Pacific and beyond. IMDEX Asia comprises an exhibition, strategic conferences and a warships display, which in 2017 has gathered together 10,600 trade visitors from 69 countries/regions, 73 VIP delegations from 45 countries and over 230 participating companies from 29 countries, with over 630 business meetings took place between exhibitors and the VIP delegations. IMDEX Asia has gained recognition as the global platform to address pressing issues within the naval and maritime security industry, showcase the latest naval technologies and connect key players from navies, governments and industry. With Asia Pacific’s military expenditure set to soar to US$609 billion by 2022, a must-attend show in the international maritime defence calendar, IMDEX Asia 2019 is the twelfth in the series and is held from 14 – 16 May 2019 at Singapore’s Changi Exhibition Centre. The 12th edition will see the participation of highest representatives of 33 navies and 6 Coast Guards around the world, including 16 navy chiefs and 4 director generals, who will gather together during the by-invite-only International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC 2019) for conversations that promote mutual understanding and collaboration for peace and security in Asia-Pacific. The sixth edition of the conference is themed “Safe and Secure Seas: Promoting Mutual Security in our Maritime Commons”, focusing on a cooperative security approach to create critical capabilities that will enhance the safety of our complex maritime landscape. Moreover, the attenders will have first-hand experience of naval operations on board around 20 warships gathering together from 15 navies coming all over the region and world at Changi naval base. Debuting at IMDEX Asia 2019, the inaugural Integrated Defence Pavilion is a prime platform for defence and security companies to showcase their whole spectrum of defence technologies, systems and equipment to defence ministry officials, armed forces, heads of Government agencies and defence industry leaders. Embracing innovation and its developers as potential growth drivers of the industry, IMDEX Asia will launch its own version of What’s Next with a focus on areas of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Cyber Security. Beyond pitching to potential investors and accelerators, What’s Next serves as a unique platform for them to interact with industry heavyweights, share ideations and establish new business development leads. Exchange insights with leading experts and academia from around the world, will be possible at IMDEX Asia business forums on cybersecurity and innovation in maritime domain, while a showcase of disruptive solutions to solve critical problems identified by industry’s big guns will be available at Shipyard 4.X Challenge. Set to launch its inaugural edition at IMDEX Asia 2019, the Maritime Campus offers a holistic platform for young and aspiring mariners of tomorrow to immerse in exciting developments of the maritime and naval defence industry, explore higher education opportunities and embark on rewarding careers.