Idex 2015: Canada sets sights on Dh10bn defence deals in Middle East
Canada is chasing C$3.5 billion (Dh10.21bn) worth of defence deals from the Middle East this year as western defence budgets are slashed.
The country was determined to make an impact at Idex by splashing C$2.5 million on its pavilion at the show, where 53 Canadian companies are displaying their products – up from 42 at Idex 2013.
“We still see the GCC as one of the primary regions in the world for military procurement,” said Martin Zablocki, the president and chief executive of Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).
“In the current economic environment, they are spending more money than many other regions.”
Regional governments are spending heavily on arms purchases as the rise of groups such as ISIL, Boko Haram and Al Shabab across the Middle East and Africa encourages investment in the industry.
“For us in Canada, we serviced the US for many years – and this is an area where definitely their budgets are going down.
“So with the dynamic and with the money being spent in the Middle East, it’s a strategic region for Canada in many fronts,” said Mr Zablocki.
Last year Canada’s General Dynamics Land Systems signed a US$10bn deal with Saudi Arabia to provide armoured vehicles.
“The big Saudi deal has brought a lot of momentum for the purchases from Canada,” said Mr Zablocki.
The CCC – which acts as performance guarantor between Canadian companies and governments – will meet Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and its defence arm Tawazun this week.
It will be promoting its light army vehicles and simulators.
Canada already trains Saudi pilots and is seeking more military training in the region.
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Published: February 23, 2015 04:00 AM