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Officials at the event

Top experts discuss Saudi defence industry vision

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2018

More than a dozen high-profile speakers and over 100 industry leaders, advisors, and regulators discussed Saudi Arabia's vision and strategic outlook in developing its defence industry at a key forum in Washington this week.

Technology and security was a special focus at the Defense Technology and Security Conference, organised by the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in collaboration with the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council.

As Saudi Arabia advances its historic Vision 2030 initiative to create a stronger, more stable business environment and greater opportunities for corporate partnerships, the kingdom will experience transformational economic and social reform designed to unlock the potential of the Saudi people and ensure a prosperous future for both the country and region, said a statement.

Comprising three panel discussions and held under the theme 'Reinforcing Partnerships, Creating Value,' the conference comes as part of the visit of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia to the US, which aims to further cement the US-Saudi historical partnership and open up new vistas of opportunities.

Ahmed Al Khateeb, chairman of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), welcomed the guests and underscored the importance of the conference theme 'Reinforcing Partnerships, Creating Value,' to embody the depth of the historic and robust relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia – a relationship based on mutual commitment, trust, drive, and value.

Titled 'Realizing the Vision, Developing the Defense Ecosystem,' the second panel featured a stellar lineup of speakers, including Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources; Dr Majid Al-Qasabi, Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment; and Ahmed Al Khateeb, chairman of SAMI.

The discussion outlined how Saudi Arabia is developing the defence ecosystem in the kingdom and how this will ultimately realise the Saudi Vision 2030.

Featuring Dr Andreas Schwer, CEO of SAMI; Leanne Caret, CEO of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security; Kurt E Amend, CEO of Raytheon Saudi Arabia; and Colin Mahoney, senior vice president of International and Service Solutions at Rockwell Collins, the first panel addressed how to create a value chain for a sustainable future, citing the tremendous progress Saudi Arabia has been witnessing and building on the historical US-Saudi ties.

Moderated by John Hamre, CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the third and final panel explored 'The Strategic Outlook and the Road Ahead' and featured a prominent lineup of panelists, including Mohammed Al-Athel, secretary general of the board of directors ? of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI); Kenneth J Krieg, former undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L); and Maj Gen Arnold L. Punaro, immediate past chair and nominating and governance committee chair of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) is a state-owned military company launched in May 2017 by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). SAMI was established to provide military products and services and to reduce the country's reliance on foreign purchases of military products. Its reported targets include the contribution of SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) to the Saudi economy by 2030, SR6 billion ($1.6 billion) investment in research and development and the creation of 40,000 jobs, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi Arabia | | industry | defence | Vision | Experts |

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