ABU DHABI: The number of local and international companies operating in Saudi Arabia’s military industries sector grew to 70 by the end of 2020, representing estimated investment of SR24 billion ($6.4 billion).
The figures were announced on Tuesday, during the 2021 International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, by the Kingdom’s pavilion, which is organized and led by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI).
The authority said it had issued 114 licenses to 70 local and international companies by the end of last year, allowing them to operate in the sector. Of those, 57 percent were manufacturing licenses, 25 percent were for military services, and 18 percent were supply licenses. National companies accounted for 81 percent of the licenses, and foreign and mixed-ownership companies for the remaining 19 percent.
GAMI said it aims to support investors and facilitate their entry into the Saudi military and security industries market, as part of its strategy to increase localization in the defense sector to more than 50 percent of government spending on military equipment and services by 2030.
The authority added that investors can apply through its online licensing portal, licensing.gami.gov.sa, for permits and military licenses covering six areas in the sector: military equipment, military services, military electronics, military electronic services, ammunition and the manufacture of explosives.
GAMI is responsible for organizing, enabling and licensing military industries in the Kingdom. It is also tasked with developing a sustainable sector for the defense and security industries that enhances the Kingdom’s strategic independence, strengthens the foundations of its national security, and supports its economic and social prosperity. The authority also plays a pivotal role in regulating the sector.
IDEX 2021 began on Sunday and continues until Thursday at the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Center.