Saudi Arabia’s military-industrial authority is aiming to attract US investment as part of a wider drive to diversify its economy away from oil, the authority’s head said.
A webinar was held Wednesday by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) along with the US-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) and US company heads to explain the Kingdom’s strategy for its defense and security sector.
Key speaker and GAMI governor Ahmad al-Ohali highlighted the role of research and technology in Saudi Arabia’s defense strategy.
The US has a history of supporting Saudi Arabia with military equipment.
In 2017, then-president Donald Trump signed a deal to provide Saudi Arabia with $7 billion worth of arms.
These included precision-guided air defense munitions used to help buttress the Kingdom against attacks from the Iran-backed Houthi militia fighting in neighboring Yemen.
Saudi Arabia will also invest $20 billion in its domestic military industry over the next decade as part of aggressive plans to boost local military spending, al-Ohali told a conference in Abu Dhabi in February.
Local expenditure has risen from four to eight percent of total expenditure in recent years, according to al-Ohali.
GAMI was set up in 2017 to expand the Kingdom’s military industries sector in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 – a broad plan to diversify the economy.