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KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security (Natsec) Asia 2024 exhibitions, starting tomorrow and running until May 9, will witness the signing of contracts and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) worth approximately RM8.1 billion.

During a joint press conference today, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail announced that the Ministry of Defence will sign contracts and MoUs worth RM6 billion, while the Home Ministry (KDN) will be involved in contracts worth RM2.1 billion.

“We will hold a signing ceremony on Wednesday, and several contracts and agreements have already been identified,“ said Mohamed Khaled after inspecting the final preparations for the exhibition with Saifuddin Nasution at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) here.

At the DSA and NATSEC Asia’s 17th editiion two years ago, the Defence Ministry signed 54 contracts and MoUs worth RM4.6 billion, while KDN signed one MoU and eight contracts worth RM2.596 billion.

Mohamed Khaled said the 18th edition of DSA and NATSEC Asia 2024 is expected to be attended by approximately 400 dignitaries and senior officials from 50 countries and regions, including ministers, deputy ministers and military chiefs.

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“Among the attendees are ministers from Brunei, Singapore and Zimbabwe, as well as deputy ministers from Indonesia, Thailand and Slovakia. Military chiefs from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar will also be present.

“This year’s exhibition will introduce three new pavilions: the DSA and NATSEC Asia Lab, the Future Forces Segment and the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), Drone and Robotics Pavilion,” he said.

The DSA and NATSEC Asia Lab offer a platform for small businesses and startups to showcase their innovations. These additions align with future trends and go beyond the traditional pavilions, he added.

The Future Forces Segment allows exhibitors to showcase equipment and requirements for Future Forces, keeping in line with the advancements in modern technology and warfare. Meanwhile, the UAV, Drone, and Robotics Pavilion offer local companies a chance to exhibit the capabilities, efficiency and innovative technology of drones, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the defence and security sectors.

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Mohamed Khaled highlighted that DSA and NATSEC Asia 2024, to be officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tomorrow, will feature 1,324 companies from 60 countries as exhibitors, with 34 countries hosting their own pavilions.

He noted a significant increase and progress compared to the 2022 edition, emphasisng that all preparations have been smoothly and efficiently completed.