Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Thailand Defence & Security Report 2016", is now available at Fast Market Research
[ClickPress, Tue Jul 19 2016] Although Thailand's domestic landscape remains wrought by fragility, owing primarily to the political weight that the military holds and domestic security concerns, the defence market will continue to be one of the fastest growing in the world. The local defence industry will remain underdeveloped and, as such, the country will rely on international exporters to satisfy the majority of its defence requirements. Cooling relations with the US in light of the 2014 coup have allowed for greater diversification in Thailand's defence import matrix and we highlight that non-US firms are increasingly well-placed to capture market share. We highlight gaps in the Royal Thai Armed Forces' C4ISR, amphibious and naval capabilities to especially offer lucrative revenue-earning opportunities for multinational defence firms. Nonetheless, political instability threatens the continuity of defence spending policy and the opaque nature of procurement and defence spending will act as deterring factors. Deteriorating demographic trends and a lack of reform momentum will also act to hinder potential in economic growth and, in turn, that of defence expenditure growth.
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Initial plans for the country to hold general elections in 2015 were deferred until 2016, and have now been deferred again until 2017. A draft constitution will be voted on in an August 7 referendum.
In May 2016, Thailand and Japan agreed to expand defence collaboration following talks between Thai Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani. A joint statement said the two sides will increase efforts to explore potential Japanese exports to the Thai market and activities related to military joint exercises and training, as well as efforts in disaster relief.
In April 2016, the raising of the Royal Thai Marine Corps' (RTMC's) first paramilitary counter-insurgency force was approved by the Thai government. As regular army personnel are withdrawn from the insurgency-plagued southern region, the volunteer-formed light infantry paramilitary units take up the primary role in counter-separatist operations.
On March 29, suspected southern separatist militants killed three local police officers and injured six others in Thailand's Narathiwat province in a vehicle ambush.
During February 23-27, Prawit Wongsuwon, Thailand's defence minister and deputy prime minister, visited Moscow and Minsk to hold talks with senior defence officials from the two countries regarding an expansion of defence industry cooperation and trade.
In November 2015, governments of the UK and Thailand opened dialogue with regard to deepening defence industrial engagement in a bid to accelerate defence trade and technology transfer.
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