LANGKAWI: Few may have sensed it but a moment of nostalgia prevailed as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad opened the 15th edition of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), here today.
The Prime Minister’s thoughts went back 28 years to 1991 when he launched the first edition of what has developed into the leading maritime and aerospace exhibition in the Asia Pacific region.
He was not one to camouflage his feelings: “The 15th edition of LIMA brings back memories of the momentous 1991 edition when I launched the 1st Blueprint for the Development of the Aerospace Industry in Malaysia.
“It was a bold move for some and baby steps for others. But looking at what we have before us - the development of the aerospace industry today - it was a necessary move to ensure that Malaysia kept up with the catalytic and rapidly growing defence industry,” he said in his speech opening LIMA’19.
Dr Mahathir was the fourth prime minister of Malaysia then. The last LIMA he opened was in 2003 before he stepped down as premier.
Today, 16 years later, he launched LIMA again, this time as the seventh prime minister.
Dr Mahathir, who has become synonymous with LIMA, beamed with pride at seeing that LIMA still attracts international maritime and aerospace players and businesses from all corners of the globe.
In 1991, up to 172 companies from 20 countries participated in the first LIMA.
Today, the 15th edition hosts business delegations from 32 nations and a total of 406 defence and commercial companies, 200 of which are international businesses.
All their products and services will be on display throughout the five days of the exhibition, up to March 30, at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) and Resorts World Langkawi (RWL).
Some 42,000 trade visitors are expected to converge at LIMA’19, not only to see the latest products and services offered by the exhibitors but also to explore potential business, particularly with Malaysia-based companies.
LIMA’19, which comprises 60% defence and 40% commercial content, is jointly organised by EN Projects (M) Sdn Bhd, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Transport, and carries the theme ‘Defence and Commercial Connecting Intelligence’.
The Defence Ministry and Transport Ministry are supported by the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) and its agencies in the organisation of industry seminars, business meetings and talks to promote business engagements and to highlight government initiatives on industry development and trade facilitation. — Bernama