Virtual Discussion with SAMI Emphasizes Opportunities for Military Industry Localization in Saudi Arabia
The U.S.-Saudi Business Council, in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service in Riyadh and the American Business Group of Riyadh, recently co-sponsored a virtual discussion with Eng. Walid Abukhalid, Acting CEO of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), for U.S. defense companies and industry stakeholders. Eng. Abukhalid lauded SAMI’s partnerships with American firms, noting that of the 23 MOUs and MOAs that SAMI has signed to-date, many are with U.S. companies.
Eng. Abukhalid provided insight into Saudi Arabia’s defense environment and emphasized SAMI’s interest in cooperating not only with the large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), but also with small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). He noted areas for future collaboration in maintenance, repair and operations (MROs), assembly operations, and the manufacturing of component parts and composites. The key to success, he said, is mutual beneficial.
In remarks at the outset of the webinar, H. Delano Roosevelt, President and CEO of the U.S.-Saudi Business Council, praised the many accomplishments and planned developments of SAMI, which have resulted in joint collaborations and spurred innovation. He emphasized the Council’s role in fostering new business relationships for defense related firms through programs such as the SAMI virtual discussion and the Council’s trade mission in February 2020, which introduced American companies to opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s cybersecurity sector.