Dual-use fact-finding mission to Singapore

Submitted by Ziga Valic on 19 March 2020

KETs4Dual-Use (K4DU) partnership has carried out its third - and last - fact-finding mission to Singapore between 10 and 12 February 2020.

The delegation arrived to Singapore at the moment when authorities raised the "Disease Outbreak Response System Condition" (DORSCON) due to the COVID-19 virus from yellow to orange (level 3 out of 4). The delegates were therefore able to witness in person an impeccable organisation and processes put in place by the authorities, which enabled them to heavily reduce the impact of COVID-19.

Singapore has the largest defence expenditure in the South East Asian region and has allocated $15.5 billion for defence expenditure and $4.9 billion for homeland security expenditure in 2019. It procures the majority of its defence equipment from foreign companies, with its defence imports driven by the country’s policy of utilizing technology to improve the efficiency of its armed forces. Significant imports include arms, ships, missile systems, and armored vehicles. Historically, the largest supplier of arms to Singapore was the United States, however, countries such as France and Germany have made substantial inroads into the country’s defence industry. The majority of Singapore’s defence budget is therefore allocated for capital expenditure, due to the country’s concentration on the acquisition of advanced technology in order to enhance the capabilities of its relatively small armed forces. Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is increasingly moving towards commercial-off-the-shelf products and systems for better cost management/control and for longer through-life support.

K4DU delegates have held meetings with Jumpster and the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore in order to discuss future collaboration and business development between European and Singapore SMEs. They were also received by the European Union delegation in Singapore.

A longstanding partner of OPTITEC, Lux Photonics Consortium, has also organised visits of their members LightHaus Photonics and Advanced Micro Foundry. Given the occasion, the delegation also attended Singapore Air Show.

This fact-finding mission has enabled the K4DU partnership to establish initial contacts with the Singapore defense & security ecosystem, which will be further pursued during a visit with a delegation of companies in 2021.

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