‘Saudi defense sector to contribute $61.6bn to GDP by 2020’

Saudi Arabia announced a military budget of SR191 billion in 2019. (
Updated 21 January 2019
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‘Saudi defense sector to contribute $61.6bn to GDP by 2020’

  • 2.52 million private sector jobs would be generated in public administration and defense by 2028
  • Cybersecurity was one of the fastest growing segments in the sector

RIYADH: The Saudi defense industry will experience strong growth in the next decade, according to a report.

The report titled “Defense, Security, and Aerospace,” which was published by the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC), said the sector was expected to contribute SR231.27 billion ($61.6 billion) to the national gross domestic product by 2020 and that 2.52 million private sector jobs would be generated in public administration and defense by 2028.

The report also said cybersecurity was one of the fastest growing segments in the sector.

“Historically, the Saudi defense sector has proven lucrative for foreign defense contractors given that the country is among the leading arms importers with growing domestic capabilities,” Abdullah Jum’ah, co-chair of the USSABC and former CEO of Saudi Aramco, told Arab News on Monday.

“In the coming years, we expect the Kingdom to progress toward the localization objectives of the Vision 2030 reform plan while still expanding opportunities for the private sector across training services, cybersecurity, and command and control segments,” he added.

US firms have supplied the largest number of defense articles to the Saudi armed forces, the report said.

Saudi Arabia announced a military budget of SR191 billion in 2019, the report said, with defense and military accounting for 17.3 percent of the Kingdom’s total SR1.11 trillion spending plans.

The report is one in a series of in-depth publications from USSABC that highlights new economic trends and opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

Previous reports have focused on industries of strategic growth for the Kingdom such as healthcare, infrastructure development, and labor localization.


Saudi Arabia plays host to major Indonesian tourism campaign

Updated 13 min 26 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia plays host to major Indonesian tourism campaign

  • More than 165,000 Saudis visited the Southeast Asian country in 2018, and officials there are aiming to increase that number to 200,000 as part of a global visitor target of 20 million for this year
  • Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands famed for their beaches, wildlife and natural beauty

JEDDAH: Tourism chiefs have been taking part in a major five-day Saudi campaign to help promote Indonesia as a top international holiday destination.
More than 165,000 Saudis visited the Southeast Asian country in 2018, and officials there are aiming to increase that number to 200,000 as part of a global visitor target of 20 million for this year.
From Feb. 11-15, the Indonesian Tourism Ministry has been working with its Consulate General in Jeddah to run a series of events in the Kingdom in a bid to boost the country’s tourist attractions.
Seventeen agencies representing Indonesia’s hotel, airline and travel industries participated in a business get-together with local Saudi tour operators, and around 70 prominent media figures were invited to the Pullman Hotel in Jeddah for a day of briefings on key Indonesian visitor destinations.
The last three days of the promotional program saw the Tourism Ministry and officials from top local destinations, take part in the Jeddah International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (JTTX), held at the Hilton Hotel.
Indonesia was one of the main sponsors of the event which has now been running for nine years.
Mohamad Hery Saripudin, the consul-general of Indonesia in Jeddah, said numerous innovative promotional breakthroughs had been made toward attracting more Saudi tourists to his country.
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands famed for their beaches, wildlife and natural beauty.
Garuda, the national airline of Indonesia, has helped with the running of familiarization trips for journalists to several tourist hotspots, and other initiatives have seen free Indonesian language courses being offered to Saudis and expatriates.
R. Sigit Witjaksono, the director of tourism marketing for South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, said Indonesia aimed to play host to 20 million visitors from throughout the world during 2019.
He noted that Indonesia welcomed 165,862 Saudi visitors in 2018, the highest total of any country in the Middle East.
As well as its natural delights, Indonesia is Islam-friendly, having thousands of mosques and offering products which are Shariah-compliant.