As the second edition of the Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX 2021) opens, defence and military industries are eyeing a bigger slice of the military procurement pie from the MENA region and hoping to strengthen their relationships with existing customers.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has on average increased its military spending during the past decade, slightly increasing its global share from about 7 per cent in 2010 to touch over 9 per cent in 2020. Egypt alone manages one of the largest militaries in the world in addition to a growing local defence industry. With 920,000 military personnel, Egypt’s military budget currently stands at US$4.4 billion per year.
The combined military spending of the 11 Middle Eastern countries for which data is available was US$143 billion in 2020. Of these countries such as Egypt hiked their defence budget by 7.3 per cent, while Israel and Jordan increased theirs by 2.7 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.
According to military observers while many MENA countries still spend massive amounts of money on modernizing and expanding their military forces and their major weapons, they will also greatly expand their focus on counter-extremism, counterterrorism, and internal security. As a result, their dependence on the U.S., Russia, France, China, and other outside forces will steadily increase and continue to do so indefinitely into the future. Several MENA states already have or seek to acquire – fighter aircraft, advanced ballistic and UCAV or cruise missiles. Others seek to acquire a wide range of precision guided weapons, integrated mixes of land-based air and missile defences, and a wide-range of other developments in military technology and tactics. So EDEX2021, one of the largest defence expos in the Middle East region will be, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Zaki said, “an influential international pivot to showcase the latest in military, defence and technological industries in the world.”
With more than 25 years of experience in defence publishing, Global Business Press and its industry leading titles Asian Defence Technology, Asian Airlines & Aerospace and Daily News are the leading defence publications in the region, present at more international shows and exhibitions than any other competing publication in the region.