RIYADH (Rahnuma): General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), confirmed that the Kingdom will increase support for scientific research from its military budget to 4 percent during the next 10 years, in order to convey technology, weapons industry and military industries in general.
He stressed that the Kingdom currently spends the equivalent of 0.2 percent, but in the coming years it will seek to raise this rate.
He added: “Any industrial sector can only persist in the presence of a high and sustainable research, development and technology programs that will stimulate educational programs, build human resources and embrace small and medium enterprises. This will certainly enable the Kingdom to obtain a sustainable industrial sector and technologies that it will be proud of.”
Al-Ohali stressed: “The localization of military industries will increase from 5 to 50 percent by 2030. The first and most important benefit of localization is to enhance the Kingdom’s strategic independence, national security, as well as its military and security readiness. The economic and social dimension will include building a sector worth more than SR30 billion ($8 billion) in 2030, and contributing to the economic diversification of the Kingdom by supporting nonoil gross domestic product by about SR90 billion until 2030.”
GAMI’s Deputy Gov. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Athel said that the Kingdom has the world’s third-largest budget allocated to weapons, after the US and China, and it is the largest importer of weapons. The budget was previously distributed to five military entities: The Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of National Guard, the Ministry of the Interior, the Presidency of the State Security and the Royal Guard.
Al-Ohali said that the military industries will provide nearly 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.