Vietnam Defence & Security Report Q2 2013 - New Market Report

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu May 23 2013

The Vietnam Defence and Security Report for Q2 2013 examines the country's strategic position in South East Asia and the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the future.

The report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The intention is to provide a clear and concise discussion of these issues. The report's general conclusion is that Vietnam's banking crisis continues to threaten both the country's social stability and also its ability to invest in the military. Serious disagreements at the top of the Communist Party could also have profound implications for stability, if the leadership is unable to settle on a collective approach to restoring the country's economy.

Full Report Details at

The risk of conflict with China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea also persists. In some ways, China and Vietnam have made positive efforts to maintain cordial relations: they conducted their first-ever joint border patrol in March 2013, for example. However, neither side is willing to give ground on sovereignty issues. With ASEAN failing as a forum for dialogue on territorial issues, Vietnam has announced plans to set up a new maritime patrol force tasked with patrolling its South China Sea territories, even as China makes similar moves. So while relations between Beijing and Hanoi were relatively calm in early 2013, the potential for another flare-up certainly remains.

Without substantial procurement funds thanks to the country's economic problems, Hanoi has been concentrating on forging new defence industry partnerships, with France, Italy, Sweden and the UK among the countries it has been holding discussions with. The prospect of the US ending its arms embargo on Vietnam could also open up an important new avenue of military equipment, although it is questionable whether Hanoi will be able to afford US equipment while its economy continues to struggle. Despite these dialogues, Russia has firmly staked its claim to the majority of the Vietnamese defence market. After the two countries upgraded their strategic relationship in 2012, new Russian defence minister General Sergei Shoigu travelled to Hanoi in March 2013 to discuss further opportunities for collaboration. In particular, Russia has pledged to help Vietnam to stand up its new submarine capability: as well as supplying six Kilo-class submarines, Moscow has undertaken to help build the necessary infrastructure and also to train Vietnamese submariners. Moscow is therefore best placed to secure future equipment orders, and also to gain further access to Vietnam's lucrative offshore energy resources.

Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:

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