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ASEAN economic bloc to boost Asian security business

ASEAN economic bloc to boost Asian security business
Late last year, ten countries in Southeast Asia agreed on the creation of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), giving rise to what can be considered a rising economic power bloc. Similar to the system followed by European Union, the new group aims to allow free movement of goods, services and skilled labor. This move co
Late last year, ten countries in Southeast Asia agreed on the creation of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), giving rise to what can be considered a rising economic power bloc. Similar to the system followed by European Union, the new group aims to allow free movement of goods, services and skilled labor.

This move could have a significant impact on security systems integration business. Systems integrators (SI) in the region will be able to expand their business beyond their native markets to other countries within this region.

“AEC is a major milestone for regional economic integration with opportunity of US$ 2.5 trillion market size with over 600 million population,” said Verghese Thirumala, MD of Maxitulin. “AEC is seeking to position itself as a competitive alternative against the mights of China/India and build consensus within ASEAN to effectively become a single market place.”

Since the bloc would free up the movement of skilled labor within it, SIs will also get a chance to select their employees from a larger pool of candidates.

Danny Ng is the VP of Sales at Yatai Security and Communications, one of the partners of Bosch Security Systems. His company's business is restricted to Singapore, but added “if one of the many things AEC will lead to is an expanded pool of prospective regional skill sets, as a company we may find it easier to recruit good quality candidates to improve our value.”

Others expect more foreign investment to flow into their countries, boosting business.

“The formation of the AEC will most certainly boost the country's economy. Record shows we have the highest economic growth in Southeast Asia,” said Mervin M Ang, CEO of Philippines-based i3 Technologies, a partner of Axis Communications. “We are expecting more investors to venture in our country. More construction means an increase in security system demand.”

One of the major obstacles to growth that security companies in developed countries face is the reluctance of end users to upgrade from systems that they already have, despite being aware of the advantages. As several of the countries in ASEAN region are in the developing stage, they have the advantage of opting for the latest offerings in the security industry. More importantly, these countries are increasingly being aware and concerned about security, as issues such as terrorism pose significant threats. In short, the formation of this economic bloc should open up more opportunities for security SIs.
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