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.