Dubai: Saudi Arabia will invest more than $20 billion in its domestic military industry over the next decade as part of aggressive plans to boost local military spending, the head of the kingdom's military industry regulator said on Saturday.
The Gulf state wants to develop and manufacture more weapons and military systems domestically, aiming to spend 50 per cent of the military budget locally by 2030.
"The government has put a plan that we will be investing in excess of $10 billion in the military industry in Saudi Arabia over the next decade and equal amounts on research and development," Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali told a defence conference in Abu Dhabi.
He also said the kingdom plans to increase military research and development (R&D) spending from 0.2% to around 4 per cent of armaments expenditure by 2030.
Saudi at IDEX
Saudi Arabian companies are participating in the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 2021) in Abu Dhabi.
The investment ministry, along with other Saudi bodies and firms will be taking part under the slogan “Invest in Saudi Arabia”.
The Kingdom will participate in the event, though the Saudi pavilion, led and organized by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), Saudi Press Agency reported.
The event will host international leaders and developers of the latest defense and security technologies across land, sea and air defense.
Saudi Arabia’s aims to localize 50 per cent of its military expenditure by 2030 in a move to grow the local defense industry and reduce reliance on imported weaponry.
A major part of this shift will be securing investment in the Kingdom's growing defense industry including through events like IDEX.
GAMI and 12 other major Saudi companies specializing in the military and security will introduce developments in Saudi military technology at the event.