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Latin American security needs to grow

Nov. 18, 2011 at 2:34 PM   |   Comments

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Latin American demand for defense and security products is growing in response to the increased spending power of government procurement agencies and the region's growing corporate sector.

Homeland security appliances and services have found new markets in countries with cash surpluses from commodity exports, including Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

In Brazil, demand for defense and security also rose amid concerns for securing the country's newly founded hydrocarbons wealth, which is likely to contribute tens of billions to the Brazilian economy over the next decades.

Demand for mobile and security products is rising in Latin America partly because governments benefiting from commodities trade are able to afford new acquisitions for government agencies as well as the armed forces.

More U.S. and European firms have indicated they want to do business using local offices rather than depend on long-distance marketing. Mobile and web technology development company ROK Global PLC hired the Americas Group to market its Homeland Security service across Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Latin America is now seen by industry analysts as a leading consumer of military and security related equipment and services, just behind the Middle East and East Asia where aviation and defense markets are booming.

ROK Global, the latest defense and security firm to increase focus on Central and South America and the Caribbean, said it saw the Latin American market as a "potentially massive territory."

Its Homeland Security product is a mobile phone-based service that provides real-time, secure technologies to assist law enforcement officers in the gathering and management of information. The service comes in a variety of formats, including encrypted data based communications and improved spatial awareness capabilities.

The service can be deployed in a variety of security and counter-terrorism operations, criminal investigation, counter-narcotic measures, evidence-gathering and field communications.

The service is not without its competitors, however, but as with security screening and X-ray equipment for borders Latin America is proving to be a major stimulant for manufacturers, who are anxious to remedy low demand amid slow growth in North America and Europe.

Neither ROK nor The Americas Group has publicly identified the markets they intend to target, but industry analysts said the potential for growth is vast.

European manufacturers had pinned their hopes on an early entry into the Latin American markets through conclusion of a free trade pact between Europe and Mercosur trade bloc, but progress on the talks toward a deal are slow because of the eurozone crisis.

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