Procurement: A Generous Sales Pitch


May 8, 2017: South Korea recently delivered 208 vehicles (mostly trucks but including cars, busses and ambulances) and 14 construction vehicles (bulldozers and the like) to Cambodia. These are for the security forces and officially to improve security in Cambodia but also to reduce North Korean influence in Cambodia. Later in 2017 South Korea will deliver 143 more vehicles, two patrol boats and eight construction vehicles. This follows a 2012 donation of 212 transportation vehicles and 29 construction vehicles. The first donation was in 2010 and included 180 transportation vehicles, eight patrol boats and 66 construction vehicles. In addition South Korea has separately supplied spare parts and technical assistance in maintaining all this equipment.

China and Japan also make donations like this to nations in Southeast Asia (including the Philippines) for similar reasons, which often include help in dealing with local outbreaks of Islamic terrorism. China has been particularly generous lately because it is seeking to gain diplomatic support for its territorial claims in the South China Sea. South Korea has another angle in that some of the donated equipment is South Korean made and being retired because new models are available. The recipients note that the South Korea stuff is higher quality and more durable than Chinese equivalents. This pays off when South Korea salesmen show up offering similar civilian equipment.