Technology Offsets in International Defence Procurement: The Case of Southeast Asia

Dr. Kogila Balakrishnan
3 December 2019

The East Asian region spends approximately USD35 billion on defence procurement. A majority of these countries are net importers of defence equipment and services. Defence is a net cost resulting in large outflow of foreign currencies, with questions revolving around its value-added benefits to a nation. Offsets or industrial collaboration, a policy tool to facilitate technology transfer through international defence procurement, serves multiple purposes. These include: enhancing defence self-sufficiency, boosting industrial and economic development, as well as contributing to national comprehensive security environment. More than 80 countries around the world have some forms of offsets policy, and the industry involves billions of dollars. Nevertheless, offsets practise is often neglected, its impact overlooked and often tainted by secrecy, corruption and bad governance. Based on the speaker’s recent book (Technology Offsets in lnternational Defence Procurement, Routledge 2018), the talk addresses several key questions: Is offsets losing its relevance In Southeast Asia? Whether, in what ways and to what extent offsets work to strengthen national economic and security environment? In the face of the ongoing geopolitical and security challenges, how can offsets reinvent itself to be a more innovative tool to leverage technology leading to industrial and economic development?

About the Speaker: Dr. Kogila Balakrishnan is the Director for Business Development (East Asia) at WMG, University of Warwick. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Malaysian National Defence University. Kogila was an Administrative and Diplomatic Officer with the Malaysian government for 21 years, and served as the Under Secretary at the Defence Industry Division, Ministry of Defence before joining the University of Warwick. Kogila headed defence industry and offsets policy development and implementation for the Government of Malaysia. Currently, Kogi advises governments and companies’ globally on technology offsets policy formulation and implementation. She has a degree in History from University Malaya (UM), she read law externally at the University of London, and obtained her MA in Strategy and Diplomacy from Malaysian National University (UKM). She also completed her post graduate diploma in Public Administration from the Malaysian National Institute for Public Administration (INTAN). Kogi completed her PhD in the field of technology policy and offsets from the Defence College of Management and Technology at the Defence Academy, Cranfield University, United Kingdom. Kogi is a Chevening Alumnus (UK) and was also awarded the Fulbright Scholarship (US).

Kogi’s research and teaching is focussed on technology policy and issues at the intersection of technology transfer, international collaboration and impact on industrial and economic development. Kogi is also interested in areas of business strategy and innovation. Kogi has presented at various international conferences globally and published several articles and book chapters. Her most recent book published by Routledge is titled ‘Technology Offsets in International Defence Procurement (2018).’

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