Fri 17-02-2017 19:16 PM

South Africa's Paramount Group looking to expand in Middle East through IDEX 2017

ABU DHABI, 17th February, 2017 (WAM)-- Paramount Group, the South African-based defence and aerospace solutions provider, is looking to expand its presence in the Middle East in light of increased defence spending and instability and growing defence localisation, and will showcase its latest land, sea and air portfolio products at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, in response to demand for defence alliances across the Middle East.

The highlight of Paramount’s portfolio at this year’s IDEX- the most strategically important tri-service defence exhibition in the world- is the Mwari aircraft, which is a militarised version of Paramount Group’s AHRLAC. The Mwari packs the same surveillance and targeting capability normally associated with a much larger class of aircraft, according to Paramount.

"With all the countries in the Gulf region looking to secure their borders in order to protect their citizens and economies during a period of global uncertainty, governments are investing more into defence spending than ever before. The strategy and economics underpinning behind old alliances is being challenged to ensure relevance in this new environment," Paramount Group said.

The demand for defence expenditure has drastically increased in the past year, and there is every indication that it will continue to grow, said Ivor Ichikowitz, Founder and Executive Chairman of Paramount Group. "This comes at a time when there are huge social and economic challenges facing national budgets."

"The Middle East is moving away from buying equipment from traditional suppliers and towards developing technology, designing indigenous systems and exporting those systems globally – in short, they are moving from being big spenders to big innovators."

This region, he said, is fast becoming an industrial powerhouse through increased manufacturing capability, targeted investment and better access to digital technologies. "Local companies are expanding, winning international contracts and building partnerships with international companies such as Paramount Group, which share the same ambitions and vision."

He described the UAE's defence and aerospace capabilities as testaments to the vision and determination of the country's leadership.

He also warned about the challenges and opportunities that the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will present to the regional defence industry.

"The emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution can open up a huge opportunity for the Middle East, where it can take advantage of the move towards connected factories, advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), composite materials and 3D printing that have the potential to disrupt and reinvent the US$12 trillion global manufacturing industry, unlocking unprecedented economic potential," Ichikowitz said.