Saudi Arabia continues efforts to attract US military investment

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.

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