Space Investments: Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia a humid tropical region is located around the equator and also has various geographic contrasts too. Since the sixteenth century, the region has been under European and Japanese colonisation for many decades. Various countries in the region regained their independent existence approximately four to five decades ago. The region, in general, has been characterised by high economic growth and closer regional integration.
In space arena, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam have made important investments. They are mainly focusing towards the communications, control of resources and educational aspects of space technologies. Varying degrees of investments are being made by these and few other states within the region mainly depending on their science and technology support and economic situation. Some of them are just in the process of starting their space programmes, while some have been making investments for long. Various states in the region are fully aware that they being the late starters they should attempt to reinvent the wheel but derive benefits from the already developed technologies. They are found using various commercially available space applications and also making an attempt to obtain dedicated satellites services for themselves by launching their own satellites with the help of other spacefaring nations. States like the USA are found helping many in the region. It has already launched satellites for Vietnam and has sealed deals with Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines backed by loan guarantees. China has promised to build and launch a communications satellite for Laos. India has helped Indonesia to launch their satellite.
Various states in the region are found making both bilateral and multilateral agreements in the space arena. Indonesia has signed the APSCO (Asia-Pacific
Space Cooperation Organization) convention. States like Malaysia and the Philippines also have interest in this organisation. Following sections of this chapter offer the present status of the space programmes of the few important states within the region.