LANGKAWI: All systems are in place for the 14th edition of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima 2017), said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
He said this year's event will be bigger with exhibitors taking up 119,209 sq m of space, roughly 15,000 sq m more than Lima 2015.
He also noted that there are more assets on display this year, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).
He said Lima 2017 will also see the participation of over 500 youths from across the country, who are invited by Youth and Sports Ministry and the Defence Ministry.
They are from National Service Volunteer Brigade, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara in Perlis, the Malaysian Youth Parliament, iM4U, the Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung, the Malaysian Youth Council and the Reserve Officer Training Unit.
Hishammuddin said he and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai have made a conscious effort for Lima to be inclusive.
"Transport and defence are, I believe, the way forward in establishing Lima.
"I'm looking forward to the next few days and I have to congratulate everyone.
"I believe this is something we celebrate every two years, where in a world full of hate, challenges, death, war and famine, all are coming together to celebrate," he told reporters at a reception for the media on board the navy's KD Jebat Monday.
Liow said there is more commercial participation in this year's event, where out of 555 exhibitors from 36 countries, 240 are from the private and commercial sectors.
"This is an achievement," he said.
Liow said Lima 2017 will also see important transport-related events, among them, a summit on green environment and the Asia Pacific Maritime Safety Forum.
Over 180,000 trade and public visitors from all over the world are expected to visit the exhibition, which will be held here until March 25.