Asia and the Middle East will boost defence spending in the next two decades amid growing regional tensions, a top Boeing executive said Friday.
"Those markets we think are going to expand, if I look at defence spending and where we see the growth coming over the next decade or two, it's in Asia and it's in the Middle East," said Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive
of Boeing Integrated Defence Systems (IDS).
"I think that a lot of countries... in the threatened environment that they live in, and with the economies that they now enjoy, are going to be doing more to protect their trade routes and their borders," Albaugh told reporters ahead
US aerospace giant Boeing manufactures commercial jetliners and military aircraft and its IDS unit provides services for large-scale systems that combine networks with air, land, sea and space-based platforms.
of an annual Asia-Pacific security conference in Singapore.
Albaugh said Boeing sees opportunities in the two regions at a time of military spending cutbacks in the United States.
"There's an opportunity just as large worldwide as it is within the United States," Albaugh said, adding global defence spending already outstripped the
US defence budget of US$534 billion (S$773 billion) for fiscal year 2010.
"We have anticipated a reduction in defence spending in the United States, and none of the announcements... were ones that surprised us," he said.
He added that Boeing was repositioning itself to look into new areas of defence, such as "special forces operations," that were of interest to the current US administration.