DSA 2022, NATSEC 2022 on target despite Covid restrictions

The Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 and National Security (NATSEC) Asia 2022 exhibitions see RM6 bilion worth of various agreements inked. – EPA pic, March 31, 2022.

THE Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 and National Security (NATSEC) Asia 2022 exhibitions concluded today with positive remarks and feedback from participants despite Covid restrictions.

The four-day event, held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) here, was the first and largest international event held in the country following the Covid-19 pandemic. It saw the participation of 54 countries and more than 1,000 defence and security-related companies.

The exhibitions saw the signing of contracts, Memorandums of Understanding, Letters of Agreement, Letters of Intent and joint-venture agreements worth more than RM6 billion, and managed to attract a total of 33,147 visitors, in addition to 350 VIP and VVIP delegates.

Speaking to Bernama, the United States head of pavilion Peter McKenna felt that the exhibitions had set the benchmark for the trade show industry during the pandemic.

“Despite the difficulties for the show’s organisers to make arrangements for international exhibitors to attend this year’s DSA, most companies which attended, showed a visible demonstration of their support for Malaysia,” said Peter.

Apart from the normal security screening at the venue’s main entrance, where bags and belongings are scanned, a check by Bernama found that the event, which was last held in 2018, required participants and visitors to provide their Covid-19 swab test results before hand.

Every participant was asked to register and provide their vaccination certificates prior to the event.

The organisers, the Defence Ministry and Home Ministry, had also set a limit on the maximum number of visitors and exhibitors for each exhibition hall to ensure proper physical distancing.

This year’s DSA 2022 and NATSEC 2022 were held with more pronounced standard operating procedures (SOP), with every hall and venue for the delegations and dignitaries equipped with state-of-the-art cameras to ensure compliance with the maximum capacity for each hall was observed.

Applauding the measures taken by the organisers, Austria’s head of Pavilion Aizad Ali noted that while there was a smaller crowd this time compared to DSA 2018, there was more visibility of the products that the participating exhibitors were promoting.

“They (exhibitors) were more focused on promotion, marketing and product delivery. It was not too crowded, the VIPs didn’t need to rush through,” he said.

Echoing the sentiment, Germany’s head of pavilion Peter Eikmeier said the exhibitions fulfilled expectations despite the smaller turnout.

“It was time to meet the people again after Covid, to get in touch with each other. This was the main target, and it’s all fulfilled and exciting, it’s a great show, so far.

“We are restarting relations between Malaysia and Germany. It was a good approach,” he added.

Deputy Home Minister Jonathan Yasin, in his speech at the closing ceremony today, said the four-day exhibitions were a major endeavour that involved the utmost determination, planning, coordination and cooperation.

“Organising one of the top defence and security-related events in the world is no easy feat in itself, let alone during a pandemic. In fact, some might say it was near impossible,” he said.

The next edition of the DSA and NATSEC exhibitions is scheduled to be held at the same venue from May 6-9, 2024. – Bernama, March 31, 2022.

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