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Innovative armoured vehicle technology from South Africa’s largest independent defence business makes an impact in the Middle East. South Africa’s Paramount Group is using IDEX, the Middle East’s largest defence technology exhibition, to announce a major new joint venture to bolster its presence in the Gulf.

The joint venture, with the UAE’s International Golden Group (IGG), has been signed in response to increasing interest in Paramount’s IED and mine protected armoured vehicles from Gulf State countries.

IGG, with its established international reputation in the introduction of key equipment to the Middle East, will market and distribute Paramount vehicles – including its new revolutionary Paramount Low Profile Vehicle (PLPV) – in the region. The PLPV was launched recently under the name ‘Mbombe’ and IDEX 2011 will be the first time it has been seen outside Africa.

The partnership will focus initially on the market in the United Arab Emirates, with a view to bringing some of the world’s finest armoured vehicles, pioneered in South Africa, to the wider region

Announcing the joint venture, Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman of the Paramount Group, said: “Our partnership with IGG continues the revolution in armoured vehicle technology and design for which South Africa is world-renowned. By bringing our vehicles to the Middle East, IGG will be presenting one of the world’s most sophisticated defence purchasing markets with the very pinnacle of new technology and design in armoured vehicles.

“Our vehicles are designed, constructed and proven in some of the world’s harshest terrain, very much with the Middle East in mind. Now with IGG we have a superb opportunity to work with the UAE’s acknowledged armoured vehicle experts to build a strong and deep relationship.

“Bringing Paramount’s systems to the Middle East in partnership with IGG very much reflects the realities of current global politics which are driving armed forces and governments to plan for future conflict by sourcing new generations of vehicles to answer the changing threats they face.”

In the medium term the joint venture will be founded on shared technology and the strengthening of economic and political ties between South Africa and the UAE. In the longer term it calls for the establishment of manufacturing bases in the UAE to serve the Middle East and Asian markets.

The UAE has a long standing tradition of commercial, economic and cultural partnership with South Africa, and Paramount’s milestone agreement with IGG is strengthening that relationship.

Fadil Saif Al Kaabi, CEO of IGG said that: “This marks another milestone in the growth path of IGG This technology partnership makes perfect sense for us as a key player in the Middle East defence sector. Paramount’s recent technological advancements in mine- and IED-protection for armoured vehicles represent a huge leap forward in the solutions available to tackle the changing threat in the region. We look forward to a successful partnership with Paramount built on the established mutual understanding and appreciation between our two nations.”

Paramount already has in place manufacturing partnerships with Ashok Leyland in India and to produce Matador and Marauder MPVs in Azerbaijan in partnership with the country’s Ministry of Defence Industries.

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) takes place from Sunday 20th to Thursday 24th February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Paramount Group’s latest vehicle, PLPV, is a revolutionary low profile six wheeled infantry fighting vehicle which can be configured to take on all types of combat roles and is ideally suited to handle a wide range of conventional and non-conventional threats. The ‘Mbombe’ PLPV will be on display on the IGG stand in Hall 5: stand A30.

About Paramount Group

The Paramount Group was founded in 1994 and works with governments around the world in matters of peacekeeping, defence and internal securities. As the largest privately owned group of defence companies in Africa, Paramount serves sovereign governments worldwide. The company develops and designs solutions to tackle peacekeeping, defence, and internal security problems, and seeks to expand its manufacture of armoured vehicles worldwide. Solutions range from camp systems, logistic equipment, and personal protection gear, as well as crowd control equipment, communication technologies and armoured MPVs.

About International Golden Group

As an Abu Dhabi based frontline Defence Company, the International Golden Group pioneered the representation of foreign defence companies as early as 2002, and has grown over the years to become a private joint stock company in 2009. IGG serves establishments such as the UAE Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior and the Critical National Infrastructure Authority and is well known both locally and globally. The company has cemented its position as a major role player in the defence industrial sector by conducting and executing specialized military projects in the UAE marketplace. With the changing order of creating a home grown defence industry, IGG has continued to invest its resources in the introduction and development of new product solutions by tailoring and fast tracking established technologies into integrated, customer driven product solutions. As a prominent player in the development of the local defence industry, IGG stands committed to facilitate the process of technology transfer, emiratization and local industrial participation.

February 21, 2011

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