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Aspace granted licence to build satellite facility in Saudi Arabia

Saudi investment minister Khalid Al-Falih, said that granting the first investment license in the space sector to Aspace will encourage others to invest in the kingdom Reuters/Ahmed Yosri
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Hong Kong-based Aerospace Technology Group Limited (Aspace) will invest SAR1 billion ($266.58 million) to set up an advanced satellite manufacturing company in Saudi Arabia after being granted the first investment licence in the space sector.

The facility will manufacture components, subsystems and satellites, state-owned Saudi Press Agency reported.

Abdullah Al-Swaha, chairman of the Saudi Space Agency (SSA), said the Aspace investment will position the kingdom as a regional hub for attracting space investments and technologies in the rapidly growing sector.

Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi investment minister, added that granting the first licence will encourage numerous companies to invest in the kingdom.

SSA also signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to cooperate in the space industry.

The Middle East region is emerging as a new strategic market in the aerospace sector, The Korea Economic Daily reported, citing Kang Goo-young, CEO of KAI.

KAI in May launched a homegrown space rocket into orbit, handling the entire process from design to production and testing to launch.

The newspaper said that the company aims to achieve 40 trillion won ($30 billion) in annual sales by 2050.