The first edition of the World Defense Exhibition (WDS), the leading global event for defense and security, concluded in Riyadh Wednesday under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The show was held during the period from 6 to 9 March with the participation of 600 exhibitors, from 42 countries, attended by more than 80 military delegations, and 65,000 visitors representing 85 countries.
The World Defense Show, organized by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), registered military and defense procurement contracts between local and international bodies with a total value of SAR 29.7 billion (US$ 7.9 Billion), reflecting the exhibition’s position as a global platform for quality partnerships industry, and supporting efforts to develop defense and security industries locally and internationally, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
These contracts included the manufacture of defense systems and equipment, military equipment, vehicles, ammunition and support services, as the proportion of national companies of these contracts amounted to 46%, amounted to SAR 10 billion (US$ 2.67 billion), as these contracts will contribute to advancing the process of localizing the military industries in the Kingdom through technology transfer and building the local technical and human capacity.
GAMI had worked with partners to study and review the contracts that were announced, as they were subject to accurate evaluation mechanisms related to the level of technical options and approved international specifications; operations, and contributes to expenditure efficiency.
The exhibition also witnessed the announcement of 22 localization and capacity building agreements with a number of local and international companies specialized in the military and defense industries, with a total value of industrial participation at SAR 8 billion, and included a number of areas such as direct localization work for military systems, and building qualitative capabilities in the targeted industrial fields, such as building production lines, transferring and localizing technologies and services, in addition to training and qualifying national cadres and enabling them to work in the military and defense industries.
The Governor of GAMI, Eng. Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his generous patronage, and to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for honoring the exhibition, and for their unlimited support.
He also expressed his happiness with the success of the exhibition at all levels, pointing out that the results exceeded the expectations, and established the exhibition's position as one of the most important defense and security exhibitions in the world, and a stimulating platform for cooperation, support for innovation and serious cooperation in partnerships that serve all parties and common interest.
He considered the partnerships held during the exhibition as a new era of growth for the defense and security system in the Kingdom to serve the goals of the vision to localize more than 50% of government spending on military equipment and services by 2030, calling on exhibitors, delegations and visitors to continue the talks that started during the exhibition on the future of the industry, support innovation and serious cooperation, welcoming all to the next version, will be held on March 3-6, 2024.