Saudi Arabia launches first locally manufactured interceptor vessel

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) on Wednesday launched the first locally manufactured HSI32, a fast interceptor vessel. (Supplied: GAMI)
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) on Wednesday launched the first locally manufactured HSI32, a fast interceptor vessel. (Supplied: GAMI)
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) on Wednesday launched the first locally manufactured HSI32, a fast interceptor vessel. (Supplied: GAMI)
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) on Wednesday launched the first locally manufactured HSI32, a fast interceptor vessel. (Supplied: GAMI)
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Updated 14 October 2020

Saudi Arabia launches first locally manufactured interceptor vessel

  • 21 vessels were built in Cherbourg, France, and remaining 18 to be assembled at the facilities of Zamil Offshore Services in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) on Wednesday launched the first locally manufactured HSI32, a fast interceptor vessel, and the Kingdom’s first floating dock.
It is part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to localize its military industries. The project was carried out in cooperation with the French shipyard CMN, a part of Privinvest Shipbuilding Group, and Zamil Offshore Services Co.
In April 2018, Zamil Offshore Services finalized an agreement worth $480 million with French shipyard CMN for the construction of 39 HSI32 interceptors for the Saudi Naval Forces.
According to the agreement, 21 vessels were to be built by CMN in Cherbourg, France, and the remaining 18 to be assembled at the facilities of Zamil Offshore Services in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking on the occasion, GAMI Gov. Ahmed Al-Ohali said the project is a step forward in GAMI’s strategic goals to achieve localization of military industries in the Kingdom.
The Kingdom, he said, wants to empower local manufactures and strengthen the industry to achieve a prominent global position.
Al-Ohali said the HSI32 will help bolster the defense capabilities of the Saudi naval forces.
It will also strengthen the maritime security in the region and protect vital strategic interests in the Kingdom, GAMI chief said.
Saudi Arabia is taking measures to localize military industries by 50 percent by 2030.
The 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.
Gen. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghufaili, commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, said the project is the embodiment of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Zamil, chairman of the board of directors of Al-Zamil Group, appreciate the official support offered to the local military industries.
He said the launch of the first locally manufactured HSI32 is an important step toward localization of the military industries.


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.