The Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition '99 known as LIMA '99 officially opened Wednesday in Malaysia's northern resort island of Langkawi.
About 1,000 local and international companies are participating in the five-day event.
A number of contracts, purchase orders and memoranda of understanding are expected to be signed during the exhibition for both the aerospace and maritime industries, between foreign and local companies, according to official sources.
Opening the five-day exhibition, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called upon the aerospace and maritime industries to aggressively embark upon "smart partnerships" with international companies to boost their development in the country.
The aerospace and maritime industries are technology-intensive industries with high value-added and are undoubtedly a catalyst for the development of new technologies and for industrial growth, he said.
It is expected that foreign industries will strive to develop and achieve meaningful and sincere smart partnerships in every sense of the word, with the growing local aerospace and maritime industries, he said.
He said that in this way, they not only could secure stronger and longer lasting business partnerships and access to the burgeoning market in the region, but could also take advantage of Malaysia's competitive rates, skills and disciplined work force.
"I would also like to note here, that some of our local companies have started to progress into designing and manufacturing their own products. Therefore, our local efforts must be integrated further with some international interest and participation through 'smart partnerships', so as to create a 'win win' situation for those involved," he said.
"In the global marketplace, only the strong survives," Mahathir said. "To succeed, we need to find our own niches. We need to build upon our strengths. We should think of strategic partnerships or even mergers in order to be more competitive." (Xinhua)