27 June 2015
If arms sales are increasingly a commodity business, governed mainly by price, it could increase regional militaries’ access to advanced military equipment and technologies. Still, other factors affect any true “commoditisation” of the regional arms market.
Is the global arms market, and in particular, arms sales to Southeast Asia, becoming increasingly “commoditised”? Commoditisation refers to an economic situation in which there exists an almost total lack of meaningful differentiation between competing products, and when they are instead sold almost entirely on the basis of price.
Commoditised products are characterised by standardised, common technology or attributes, rather than brand or capabilities uniqueness, resulting in basically a price-based competition. If arms sales to the region are increasingly a commodity business, therefore, it would result in the expanded access of Southeast Asian nations to advanced military equipment and technology.
… Richard A. Bitzinger is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Formerly with the RAND Corp. and the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, he has been writing on military and defence economic issues for more than 20 years.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015