How Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is catalyzing major defense sector growth

Aug 17, 2021

While Saudi Arabia has traditionally looked abroad when sourcing military technologies, a substantial shift in the country’s agenda – and that of the wider Gulf region – is unlocking major opportunities for defense producers of all sizes to do business in the largest economy in the Arab region.

In line with Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s trailblazing plan to diversify its economy and move away from hydrocarbons, the country has committed to localizing 50% of military expenditure – with experts predicting a subsequent boom in the domestic defense sector over the next decade.

In support of this goal, the Kingdom recently announced an investment in excess of $20 billion in the military industry, a large portion of which will be directed towards research and development. Meanwhile, a raft of joint venture agreements have been signed with international firms to produce technologies in-country and transfer knowledge to the young, ambitious local population.

The recent launch of the HS132 fast interceptor boat in Saudi Arabia is a good example of how these policies are bearing fruit; the HS132 was locally manufactured under a Transfer of Technology agreement in conjunction with French shipyard CMN for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.

To help unlock the growth potential of the defense sector, the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) founded World Defense Show, the first-ever fully integrated defense event showcasing innovations in interoperability across all five domains – land, sea, air, security and space.

Taking place across a ‘military metropolis’ doubling as a marketplace, the inaugural event in Riyadh from 6-9 March 2022 will offer defense companies – both large and small – unparalleled access to the Saudi Arabian defense industry.

GAMI’s governance framework will be put into practice at the event through the ‘Meet-the-Buyer’ initiative and other programs which showcase the ease of doing business in the Saudi market. International companies and investors will also learn about the attractive incentives in place under the defense localization program.

World Defense Show’s ambition is to create an optimal meeting environment for opportunities at every level of the Kingdom’s expanding value chain by connecting stakeholders to the national defense ecosystem. In March 2022, leaders from every engine of the global defense industry will come together in the heart of Riyadh, propelling opportunities to the next level – and providing a critical platform for the future of defense in the Middle east.

The inaugural World Defense Show will be held in Riyadh from 6-9 March 2022. Exhibition space is selling fast – contact our sales team now to book your spot.

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