An undisclosed number of “important countries” in South America will shortly begin in-country trials of two Paramount-produced armoured vehicles. A procurement decision is expected within months, the company says in a statement.
The Maverick, an internal security vehicle designed for use by police and other law enforcement organisations, and the Marauder, a mine protected armoured vehicle, will be trialled by both defence forces and internal security forces. “The successful outcome of these trials could lead to Paramount Group setting up manufacturing facilities in the region,” the company says in a statement.
“These trials are extremely significant for South Africa and South America as they mark greater collaboration between these two fast-growing economic regions,” Paramount Group CE John Craig says. “…these trials are all part of our aggressive expansion drive into the region. We expect the South American market for armoured vehicles to grow steadily over the next five years.
“As a result of force modernisation and a desire to address long standing internal security issues we are seeing growing defence expenditure across the region. Countries like Brazil, Colombia and Argentina have all announced double-digit increases in spending over the next five years,” Craig says.
“Paramount Group’s unique manufacturing approach, whereby we locate manufacturing facilities in-country, will allow us to share Africa’s best technology and skills with the engineers and scientists of South America. Technology transfer, better trade links and skills sharing are all positive outcomes of greater co-operation between South America and South Africa.”
Paramount’s entry into South America comes at an important and symbolic moment for South Africa, the media release adds. The world’s largest developing economies Brazil, China, Russia and India are holding their third annual meeting this week with South Africa being the “new entry” in this select group, now known as BRICS.
Paramount Group executive chairman Ivor Ichikowitz says “the world economy is being re-ordered and South America is emerging as a major powerhouse of growth and prosperity. However, it still faces some intractable internal security problems which are preventing it from exploiting its full potential. The reality is that sustainable economic growth requires sustainable security.
“Paramount Group’s presence in Brazil and our entry into Latin America comes at an historic time. Brazil and South Africa represent a new wave of emerging economies and both are important gateways to their continents. There is huge potential for collaboration in defence and aerospace and Paramount Group is proud to be at the forefront of this new age of collaboration,” Ichikowitz added.
“Paramount Group is one of the new breed of African businesses which are helping to diversify economies and stimulate regional economic integration. We believe Latin America offers a solid foundation for doing business in the future and we are keen to become an important industrial player and share our technology with new partners in the region.”
Paramount Group lays claim to the title of Africa’s largest privately owned defence and aerospace company with global manufacturing facilities and joint ventures with selected partners in Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the world. The company has experienced more than 20% sales growth year-on-year over the last five years and nearly doubled its workforce over the last 12 months. Founded in 1994, the company develops and designs solutions to tackle peacekeeping, defence and internal security problems. Solutions range from camp systems, logistic equipment, and personal protection gear, as well as crowd control equipment, communication technologies and armoured MPVs.