Companies licensed by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) have increased by 41 percent, reaching 99 by the end of the first half of 2021, a statement released by GAMI on Tuesday revealed.
The GAMI report highlighted the Kingdom’s flourishing defense industry as it continues to host new companies, 85 percent of which were homegrown businesses. The remaining 15 percent of the GAMI licenses were given to companies that were of mixed ownership and fully foreign companies.
The Saudi Military Industries Highlights report’s findings also suggested most of the new companies receiving the licenses were operating in the field of military manufacturing (60 percent) and the rest were in military services (24 percent), and the trading of military articles and services (16 percent).
Allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in the sector and easing the permit and licensing process have started to yield results as local and international investors are becoming more aware of the opportunities that the Kingdom’s military industries sector has to offer, the statement read.
“Self-sustenance is vital to each and every country’s survival and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly demonstrated this,” GAMI’s governor, Ahmad al-Ohali, was quoted as saying in the report.
“Whether it be achieving food security, improving education, making healthcare more affordable for all, and security our nation’s military readiness, it is crucial for a country to be able to develop and strengthen its operational and strategic capabilities,” he added.
According to the report, the GAMI licenses were issued in an effort to enhance the Kingdom’s defense ecosystem, including armored vehicles and boats, to provide the necessary training to technicians and operators, expand the military industries sector’s base in value-added sectors, provide a network of services and support for the sector and to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the local supply chain.
The country is now preparing for its first World Defense Show in Riyadh which will take place between March 6 and 9, 2022.