Investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia's defense sector were in the international spotlight; at the Defense and Security Equipment International event in London this week.
Invest Saudi joined the prestigious four-day event alongside 114 countries; and more than 40,000 visitors to showcase the breadth and depth of opportunities; available in the sector across four areas including land, naval, security and joint technologies.
Global stakeholders, partners and investors also hosted at a private roadshow; where the progress, initiatives and partnership opportunities presented in detail by Saudi government leaders; in a cross-government initiative between the General Authority of Military Industries (GAMI); the Ministry of Investment (MISA), Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and the World Defense Show (WDS).
The defense sector is a key part of the Kingdom's plans to increase foreign direct investment and diversify the economy, as set out in Vision 2030. It is also to contribute $4.5bn towards national GDP and create up to 60,000 jobs by 2030.
Abdulrahman AlMzaid, managing director of Defense Sector at the Ministry of Investment, also said: "We are delighted to sponsor this event and work in partnership with our government colleagues to present the wealth of investment opportunities in the Kingdom's defense sector.
"Our global Invest Saudi events are now back on the road after a pandemic-induced break; and we are meeting with investors in person and — once again — hearing first-hand how excited they are by what Saudi Arabia has to offer them.
"There has never been a better time to Invest in Saudi Arabia. We offer a significant market size, a young and educated workforce; and, most importantly, new sectors, new opportunities and improved ways of doing business as a result of our historic economic transformation plan, Vision 2030."
Despite a turbulent time in the global investment space due to the pandemic; Saudi Arabia's FDI inflows continued to grow; with the Saudi Central Bank reporting a 20% uptick in 2020. This growth continued into 2021; with the Ministry of Investment granting record-breaking numbers of foreign investor business licenses in the first quarter of the year.
This steady FDI growth in recent years driven by deep economic and business reforms that have made doing business in Saudi Arabia quicker; easier, less costly and lower risk than ever before.
Saudi Arabia also named one of the world's top business reformers according to the latest World Bank's Women; Business and The Law report and this year commended by UNCTAD for the positive impact of its pro-business policy reforms.