Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s top arms importers, says it has launched a program to license firms seeking to participate in its own military industrial sector.
The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) announced on Sunday the start of receiving license applications for firms to manufacture firearms, ammunition, military explosives, military equipment, individual military equipment, and military electronics in the kingdom.
GAMI Governor Ahmed al-Ohali described the move as a significant step towards attracting domestic and foreign investment to the sector, state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has drawn criticism for following confrontational policies in the region, has already said he wants the kingdom to produce or assemble half of its military equipment locally.
In March 2015 – Crown prince authorized the ongoing Saudi-led war against Yemen. Riyadh and its allies — including the United Arab Emirates — have sparked outrage by leading a war that has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians.
Riyadh invaded Yemen in a bid to reinstall the former Saudi-allied regime and eliminate the Houthi Ansarullah movement, but it has failed to reach any of those objectives.
-World’s top arms importers