The U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) presented an executive virtual webinar on June 23, 2021 entitled “Understanding Saudi Arabia’s Military Industry Growth Strategy.”
Moderated by USSBC President and CEO, H. Delano Roosevelt, the webinar provided participating U.S. company representatives with an understanding of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s blossoming defense and security sector, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
GAMI Governor and the event’s featured speaker Eng. Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali highlighted GAMI’s role in developing the Kingdom’s military industry sector and provided an overview of the national military industry strategy, Industrial Participation Program (IPP) and the role of research and technology in the Kingdom’s defense strategy.
GAMI was established in August 2017 to grow the Kingdom’s military industries sector, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 target of localizing more than 50% of defense expenditures by 2030. GAMI is the regulator, enabler and licensor of the sector and is responsible for its development and empowerment.
Since the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030 just five years ago, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved significant socio-economic milestones, while showing tremendous progress in transforming many key sectors of Kingdom’s economy.
As a result of GAMI’s commitment to its mandate, the military industries sector witnesses a rapid transformation and is now on a steady path to become a major contributor to the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP. In just a few years, the sector’s localization rates have more than doubled to 8% of total expenditure, according to Governor Al-Ohali.
He emphasized the breadth of opportunities the Kingdom’s defense localization presents to global investors and U.S. defense partners. The development of the military industries sector requires a whole ecosystem of research and technology institutions, a skilled workforce and other support functions in addition to local production capabilities, he noted.
Roosevelt recalled the long history of cooperation between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and predicted that the U.S. will continue to play a dominant role in supporting the Kingdom through future strategic relationships. He added that the USSBC will also continue its roles of facilitating connections between U.S. and Saudi companies and educating U.S. businesses about the benefit of engaging in the Saudi market.