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Israel Continues To Move Into Asian Defense Market

Israel Continues To Move Into Asian Defense Market
Israeli-Made Galil-Type Assault Rifle
Image by Péter Boné

Israel is famous for selling arms no matter the customer. This goes over well in the Asian defense market, where certain customers have rather tarnished reputations.

Israel is making unrelenting efforts to expand its footprints in select Southeast Asian (particularly Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand) and East Asian countries (Japan and South Korea). The realpolitik and strategic interests of both sides have been instrumental in bringing the ties closer than ever before. The long-term goal for Israel is to translate its economic and gradually growing defense cooperation with these counties into political partnerships, reported The Diplomat in 2019.

No longer do the anti-Israeli sentiments in some of these Southeast Asian countries, out of support for the Palestinian issue, remain an obstacle to promoting cooperation with Israel. 

Vietnam has become one of the three largest Israeli arms clients between 2014-2018. This seems to have ruffled feathers in Washington which has began to push back against Israel’s success, which has made it the 8th largest arms dealer in the world.

Washington puts squeeze on Israeli companies in Vietnam. Israeli defence companies have become used to having the lion’s share of the Vietnamese defence market, but US firms are hot on their heels in every part of the defence sector. … US defence companies are carving a place for themselves in Vietnam with the Pentagon’s help, reported Intelligence Online.

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