Saudi Arabia has concluded its participation in the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA 2022). The five-day show was held in the UK and witnessed large-scale participation from around the world.
As part of the national “Invest Saudi” initiative, the Saudi pavilion was organized and run by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI). It included GAMI, the Saudi Ministry of Investment, the World Defense Show (WDS) and the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI).
The Pavilion attracted impressive interest from a wide range of industrialists, aviation and defense specialists and experts, high-level government officials, global and institutional investors and visitors.
Saudi Arabia took advantage of this unique opportunity to showcase the latest developments in the Kingdom’s defense sector, as well as the multitude of significant defense opportunities and incentives available to global investors.
Ahmad Al-Ohali, Governor of GAMI, inaugurated the pavilion, with notable high-level representation among defense leaders.
In a speech, Al-Ohali stressed that the Saudi pavilion at FIA 2022 is a continuation of GAMI’s commitment to enable the defense sector and its achievement of the overarching goals set out by Vision 2030.
In particular, GAMI aspires, through clear and concise measures, to foster meaningful partnerships, actively engage with international investors interested in the Kingdom’s defense sector, and expose the sector’s many lucrative investment opportunities.
Additionally, it is vital for the Kingdom’s defense sector regulator to elaborate on the various initiatives, reforms and programs championed by GAMI and explicitly tailored to entice potential investors.
With regard to the main message conveyed to global stakeholders: it has never been easier to join a localization journey reinforced by digital transformation, and attached with a sincere and strategic focus on the ease of doing business via streamlined agile processes, as well as always maintaining thorough and thoughtful “win-win” consideration.
Complementing this participation in the Saudi pavilion, several key strategic announcements were made by Saudi Arabia, chief among which was the announcement of the localization rate of the defense sector, which increased from 2% in 2018 to 11.7 % in 2021.
A multitude of defense platforms and capabilities have been localized during this period, all contributing to improved operational readiness and strategic autonomy, through the creation of strategic and enduring partnerships. The overriding objective: to localize more than 50% of spending on defense equipment and services by 2030.
Another announcement made by Saudi Arabia in its pavilion was that of establishment permits (EP) and industrial licenses. At the end of June 2022, GAMI had issued 291 business permits to 174 establishments. Of these, 41% were defense establishments (those that only offer defense products and/or services).
Support and adjacent industries (those offering products and/or services with both military and civilian applications) accounted for 42%, while commercial establishments accounted for 17%.
GAMI has indeed worked diligently and carefully to attract local, regional and global investors, leveraging a strategically structured incentive package to maximize investor return on investment. These include financing non-recurrent expenditures (NRE) associated with strategic military projects and technologies, through cash grants and low-interest loans.
Other incentives include VAT exemption for locally produced goods, provision of industrial land at reduced rates, generous advance payments on defense contracts to encourage investment in the sector, and a host of reforms regulations and policies specifically applied to streamline and facilitate the investor journey.
On the front of international agreements and partnerships, the Saudi pavilion also had much to share with the global defense community.
SAMI, for example, the national champion and wholly owned subsidiary of PIF, announced that SAMI Aerospace has signed an agreement with Airbus Helicopter Arabia, the MENA arm of Airbus Global, to provide rotorcraft technical support to the Royal Saudi Armed Forces. and build local capacity.
SAMI also announced that SAMI Composites, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, has signed an agreement with leading aerospace company Lockheed Martin to develop a composites manufacturing center of excellence in Riyadh with the support of GAMI, to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s indigenous aerospace manufacturing capabilities.
Finally, SAMI announced that it has signed a number of major agreements with Singaporean defense technology group ST Engineering, supporting SAMI in the production of advanced defense systems in line with the execution of its development and growth strategies, while providing technical support and training.
The Kingdom’s participation, in global defense and security exhibitions like FIA 2022, falls under the official mandate of GAMI, in which GAMI is responsible for leading and organizing international participations, in close collaboration and coordination with its valued partners from the public and private sectors, with the categorical intention to support the investment opportunities born by the sector.
In achieving its overarching goal of localizing more than 50% of defense equipment and services spending by 2030, GAMI encourages, nurtures and cultivates strategic partnerships with its various stakeholder groups within the global defense ecosystem. defense.
These key global partners include government and defense entities, global industry OEMs and even research institutes and universities. GAMI’s intention is to regulate, locate and enable defense industries in Saudi Arabia, while attracting investors from around the world to the Kingdom, for a sustainably safer and brighter future for generations to come.