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Saudi Arabia launches military industrial licensing program
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 09 - 2019

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it had begun accepting license applications for firms in the military industrial sector, a major target under plans to diversify the Kingdom's economy away from oil exports,
The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) has developed a licensing mechanism, according to which it has specified three major kinds of licensing — military industries, providing military services, and supplying military products or services.
GAMI will license companies in each of the three major fields in the military industries in six subdivisions, that is, to manufacture firearms, ammunition, military explosives, military equipment, individual military equipment, and military electronics, state news agency SPA reported.
GAMI Governor Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali said the move would open the door for foreign and local investment in the sector to facilitate their contribution to building the sector directly, achieving the goal of localizing 50 percent of the Kingdom's spending, and meeting the military industries sector needs. It will also be a major step towards organizing the sector.
GAMI is striving to transfer technology and take into consideration that local companies benefit from the manufacturing opportunities, in line with a mechanism that guarantees the growth of all companies in the military industries sector.
It also aims to promote the sector within the Kingdom and abroad, apart from training and classifying local industrialists, providing the infrastructure related to the sector and cooperating with the pertinent authorities.
The announcement to begin receiving licensing applications comes within the sphere of achieving GAMI's strategy to localize military industries, achieve the main national priorities in raising the level of military readiness, and enhancing joint operation between all the security and military authorities.
This is with the aim of developing a sustainable local military industries sector and raising the level of transparency and spending efficiency as well as opening the door for investment in them.
Investment is needed to meet reforms announced by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman who wants Riyadh to produce or assemble half its defense equipment locally in order to create 40,000 jobs for Saudis by 2030.
Saudi Arabia is among the top five defense spenders in the world.
GAMI pointed out to all local authorities working in the sector and companies wishing to engage in one of the military industry activities, to obtain the appropriate licensing for their field of work.
The license will be issued after fulfilling the specified requirements for organizing the military industries activities in the Kingdom and the instructions for security, safety and protection from fires issued by the Higher Commission for Industrial Safety, GAMI stressed.
GAMI said it would grant the current authorities in the sector a one year grace period from today to rectify their status and obtain the required licenses to carry out their current activities.
Applications for licenses can be submitted via the GAMI e-portal for licenses on the official website

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