Middle East beckons for Australian industry

The CDIC and Team Defence Australia are seeking expressions of interest from Australian defence companies to contribute to the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) to be held in Abu Dhabi, 17-21 February 2019. 

IDEX is the only international defence exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region demonstrating the latest technology across the land, sea and air sectors of defence.


The exhibition is held every two years, the trade show welcomes more than 100,000 visitors and 170 high-level delegations from around the world. Products and components of the defence and security supply chains are exhibited at IDEX. In 2017, more than 1,200 companies from 57 countries participated at this event.

International delegations headed by decision-makers and acquisition leaders attend this event, including ministers of defence, chiefs of staff and security directors.

The Team Defence Australia contribution will be made up of: 

  • Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC);
  • All state/territory governments;
  • Global supply chain primes;
  • Australian Defence staff;
  • Australia Trade and Investment Commission staff; and
  • Australian embassy staff.  

An industry briefing will be held in Abu Dhabi on 16 February 2019 prior to the start of IDEX 2019. IDEX takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, about 15 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) are forecast to peak spending on defence capability in 2019, reaching more than $140 billion. The UAE alone is forecast to increase its defence budget to reach $41 billion by 2025 to strengthen naval, air power and cybersecurity capabilities to mitigate regional threats. Furthermore, revenue diversification from oil reserves remains a priority for the UAE as part of the UAE National Vision 2021

The UAE is investing heavily in enhancing its local defence and civil security capability to expand its domestic industrial base, offering potential opportunities for collaboration and international partnerships to address high-tech requirements.

Opportunities also exist for Australian companies manufacturing parts, components and electronic systems, as well as those that offer MRO services to support domestic product development in armoured vehicles and naval vessels. Other opportunities include:

  • Capability development and training;
  • Tactical equipment and missile systems;
  • Cyber security and surveillance; 
  • Electronic warfare systems;
  • Modernisation of telecom and command and control centres; 
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles, early warning systems and satellite communication system R&D; and
  • Innovative high-tech solutions and equipment. 

Those selected to attend IDEX as part of Team Defence Australia may be able to seek reimbursement under the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) for costs incurred. Visit www.austrade.gov.au/exportgrants to see if you are eligible for EMDG assistance, and to understand other categories of international promotion expenditure that may also be relevant to your business.

More information, including to register your interest, is available here



Middle East beckons for Australian industry
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