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Friday / January 19.

Armed forces exhibition to help localize Saudi military industry


RIYADH: In preparation for the Armed Forces Exhibition for Diversification of Local Manufacturing (AFED), which will be held on Feb. 25, Maj. Gen Attiya bin Saleh Al-Malki, spokesman of the exhibition and director general of the department overseeing the localization of manufacturing, explained that the exhibition will have local companies that produce merchandise of high standards with the employment of Saudis, thus creating jobs and helping the economy.
The first AFED exhibition was launched in 2010 in Riyadh exclusively for the armed forces. The second exhibition was held in Dhahran in partnership with Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC). The third exhibition was held in Riyadh in 2016 with Saudi Aramco, SABIC and many other companies.
During a press conference in Riyadh on Wednesday, Al-Maliki said: “We have made much headway and progress in sector and more is expected in this exhibition.”
When Arab News inquired about the timefame for total localization, Al-Maliki said: “We started in 2013, and since then we have a planned vision and goals. Before Vision 2030, our goals were long term, but now with Vision 2030, we can see ourselves executing our goals of Saudi industrialization of military supplies in a much shorter timeframe.”
The vision and aim of the exhibition is to locally manufacture the arms needed by the country so that the nation’s factories may benefit from sales, rather than buying them from abroad.
Al-Maliki said there would be lectures and workshops during the event. He said it would be a good opportunity for manufacturers and investors to identify business opportunities.
Earlier, Al-Maliki said the exhibition is part of the economic reforms announced by the government, which aims to stimulate investment, support non-oil exports and develop a knowledge-based economy.
The AFED management hopes it will open vast opportunities for job employment and boost the local economy, furthering more factories and companies to upgrade their standards and work toward achieving a higher quality of merchandise that may even be sold on the international market in the future.



via AN