Monday, September 24, 2018
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Paramount open to Egyptian collaboration

A Mbombe.The Paramount Group has, as part of its Middle Eastern sales drive, offered its expertise to grow Egypt’s domestic defence industry.

Paramount founder and executive chairman Ivor Ichikowitz last week told The National that “we’re talking to the Egyptian government to try and understand their priorities in terms of invigorating the defence and aerospace industry. The domestic market is sizeable as the country modernises, becomes more efficient and reduces its reliance on former Soviet legacy equipment.”

“There is light at the end of the Egyptian tunnel. The first-mover advantage is a good thing. We look at Egypt with caution and optimism,” Ichikowitz said. He said there is big potential for the production of defence equipment in partnership with the Egyptian government and this could include aircraft, armoured vehicles and mine clearance. He said the Egyptian government responded positively to Paramount’s proposals as it moves away from procurement dominated by the United States and Russia.

“Egypt has the potential to become one of our major export hubs to the rest of Africa, not for everything, but certainly for land forces equipment,” Ichikowitz said. Egypt already manufacture hardware locally, including assembling main battle tanks.

“We have a financing arm that syndicates funding structures and allows us to lease equipment to provide sovereign lines of credit,” Ichikowitz said.

The National reported that Paramount sees a 15-20% growth in annual sales and is focussing on the Middle Eastern market. Ichikowitz attended an aerospace conference in Abu Dhabi on 30 April as part of the company’s Middle Eastern sales drive. He said “we are in negotiations with various governments in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, with a view to transferring technology and establishing production in those countries.”

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