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March 11, 2004

Asia to take naval shipbuilding lead

A Bremerton, Wash., based consultancy has identified the Asian sector as "the dominator in new naval vessel expenditures for the next decade."

Consultancy AMI International has been assisting naval industry and governments in their international projects since 1984. It provides comprehensive naval intelligence reports and focused advisory services to navies, naval shipbuilders, and naval equipment manufacturers.

AMI tracks the naval industrial activities of each of the 151 countries operating an ocean-based navy. AMI focuses its attention on the future plans and projections of 55 of these navies

Now AMI predicts Asian spending will exceed both Europe and the United States in their respective naval market expenditures by 2009. Europe currently spends about US$13 billion annually on new vessels, which is expected to decrease by 20-25% over the next decade. Comparably, the United States spends an average of US$11 billion. With Asia's new vessel procurement, and the United States yet undetermined increase in spending, AMI forecasts Asia as the leader by the next decade.

"This year, approximately US$7 billion are being spent on naval new construction in the Asia-Pacific region. AMI International anticipates this figure will double by 2009, or in six short years. No other region is growing in this fashion," said Robin Keil, Vice President of AMI International. "In fact, Asia will overtake the United States and Europe in the next few years in naval ship construction expenditures."

This growth in Asia is a result of individual countries in this area desiring to take on a greater role in regional security, oversight on important sea lanes of commerce, as well as expanding their presence within their own exclusive economic zones, says AMI. "The exclusive economic zones in Asia represent a vast amount of assets yet to be capitalized, including petroleum, natural gas, fisheries, and mineral reserves. Some of the naval vessels that will be procured will also afford some Asian countries the capability of blue water roaming."

Asia's decision to pursue new naval vessels is not seen as a threat to maritime operations or international treaties, says AMI. "Nor has this move been interpreted as a response to terrorist threats on land or on the high seas."

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