The U.S. Department of Commerce is sponsoring a Safety and Security Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, March 17-23, 2006, with and optional stop in Jordan, March 26&27.

Mission Description

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. Commercial Service, Office of Global Trade Programs will lead a safety and security trade mission to Riyadh and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Cairo, Egypt from March 17–23, 2006.   Following the mission, for an extra fee, participating firms may further leverage their presence in the region by selecting the optional stop in Amman, Jordan, March 26&27.   This optional stop coincides with the Special Operations Forces and Homeland Security Exhibition (SOFEX) taking place March 27-30.

The mission will include representatives of U.S. safety and security equipment and supply firms interested in entering or expanding existing business in these Middle East markets.   The mission is also open to representatives of U.S. safety and security equipment trade associations.

Commercial Setting

The safety and security industry is booming throughout the Middle East as the region deals with increases in a wide variety of security concerns ranging from border security and private citizen safety to transaction fraud.   In general, safety and security product imports to the area have increased 10-15% annually for the past few years, with increases of up to 25-30+% in the some countries, making the Middle East one of the most attractive markets for this industry in the world.   

Member countries of the Gulf Co-operative Council (Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) in particular are a burgeoning regional market with an estimated value of $10 billion for safety and security products.   Countries here have solid funds to purchase the products they need.

The countries selected for this mission have unique market conditions that make themeal venues for this industry.   Saudi Arabia has upcoming infrastructure and oil industry projects that will increase demand for all types of safety and security products and services.   Egypt is especially concerned with safety and security to ensure continuation of its strong tourism industry while Jordan has traditionally relied upon the security sector to maintain the country’s stability in the shadow of regional upheavals.   U.S. brands are well received by buyers and end-users in all three countries.

U.S. companies in the safety and security industry should seriously consider working with the countries throughout this region by offering state-of-the-art technology and equipment that provide the solutions that are being sought.   This trade mission will focus on three top markets for this important industry:   Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan.

Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabian imports of security equipment were estimated at US$339 million in 2004, with a market increase of 35-40 percent expected annually over the next two years.   A heightened awareness of security issues has led Saudi Arabian Government and private sector entities to re-evaluate and upgrade all security at all major sites.   A sizeable portion of the country’s current fiscal surplus has been allocated to increase the security budgets for all government departments.  

A number of major projects in Saudi Arabia are planned for the immediate future, including a new oil refinery (with two more under consideration); a project for high-tech border security under discussion; port security upgrades; and safety and security equipment at airports is under review.  

American equipment has a superior competitive advantage and holds an estimated 64 percent market share.   The current strength of the Euro is beneficial as U.S. products are increasingly competitively priced against European rivals.


The safety and security market is doing well in Egypt and it is expected to increase steadily in the coming years.   This market is very much dominated by the Ministry of Interior.   One of the main goals of the Government of Egypt is to participate effectively in the National Program for Technological Development as it relates to Safety and Security.   The government is looking now for specialized companies working in the field of security and other related business and it wants to become acquainted with the most up-to-date security technology available.

The Ministry of Interior is doing its best to create new horizons for investment in security technology within the Egyptian market to establish advanced industries in this field.   Being abreast of the latest innovations in this market is a primary goal for the police agencies as well as the various companies and corporations working in the field.   Companies with a reputation for cutting-edge technologies will have an advantage here.

As the country works to increase tourism over the next few years, airports and seaports are expected to upgrade security systems.   Police and customs authorities are expected to increase their demand as well.

Jordan–Optional Stop:

Jordan is one of the most stable and secure countries in the Middle East, and the Jordanian Government gives the safety and security sector strong attention.   The local market depends totally on imports, with a market size estimated at $71 million in 2004, and expected growth to be 10-15% per year in the coming three years.   In addition, Jordan is the prime gateway to Iraq, with over 1,500 Iraqi companies operating from Jordan.   CS Jordan has staff exclusively dedicated to developing business for U.S. firms with Iraq.  

The first full day of the trade mission will focus on meetings with key players in the Jordanian safety and security market.   On the second day at this stop participants can visit the Special Operations Forces and Homeland Security Exhibition (SOFEX).   SOFEX, which takes place March 27-30, 2006, is the only show in the region focusing on Special Forces and homeland security technology.   This show is an important opportunity for U.S. companies to meet with delegations and visitors from Jordan and across the Middle East.  

Best Prospects

High tech products:   Access control and intrusion detection systems,entification equipment (such as holograms forentity purposes or products for biometrics based cards and finger printing), electronic surveillance equipment and closed circuit television (CCTV), and information security technology.

Products for border control and security:   cargo and airport scanning equipment (x-ray, metal detectors, and explosives), products for physical access control and security including items such as road-blockers and tire killers.

General safety and security products:   traffic control systems, GRPS, forensic equipment, fire detection systems and smoke alarms, and personal safety products for oil and petrochemical workers.   In addition there will be strong demand for security services

Mission Goals

The objective of this trade mission is to introduce U.S. companies to distributors, public and private buying agents and other potential business partners. The mission will focus onentifying opportunities for sales of safety and security equipment and related supplies. The mission will additionally seek to acquaint U.S. companies with the local market environments for safety and security equipment so as to facilitate their ability to effectively introduce their products to the region.

Mission Scenario

Participants will visit four of the region’s key metropolitan centers.   The mission will have access to major countrywide markets, as well as central government officials and U.S. Embassy staff for regulatory and business climate briefings:

Riyadh— the capital of Saudi Arabia. Government Ministries and many decision makers are based here.  

Dhahran— headquarters for Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company and Saudi's largest (non-military) purchaser of security products.   The region is also home to Saudi’s downstream petrochemical industry and 75 percent of the country’s heavy industry (all required by law to operate integrated security systems).

Cairo—the capital of Egypt.   As the major administrative, political, and business center, Cairo is a key distribution center for U.S. products.

Optional: Amman— the capital of Jordan.   As a major political, administrative, and business center in the region, Amman is a key distribution center for U.S. products into Iraq.

During the trade mission participants will receive: A) briefings on local safety and security markets in each city visited; B) introductions to potential agents/ distributors, facility administrators, and purchasing managers through group events; C) site visits if applicable; D) one-on-one meetings tailored to each firm’s interests; and E) meetings with local business representatives and government officials, as appropriate.


Recruitment will begin in November 2005 and should be concluded no later than January 31, 2006.   Applications received after that date will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.  

The trade mission schedule is:   Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - March17 -19; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia - March 20 & 21; and Cairo, Egypt - March 22 & 23, 2006.

Firms electing the optional visit to Jordan will travel on to Amman, Jordan on Saturday, March 25, where official trade mission activities will begin on March 26 and will include a visit to Special Operations Forces and Homeland Security Exhibition (SOFEX) on March 27.   

The precise schedule will depend on the availability of local government and business officials, specific goals of mission participants, and air travel schedules.

Criteria for Participant Selection

  • Diversity of product mix among participating companies, and the relevance of these products to mission goals.
  • Product offerings that represent the variety of safety and security technologies in which the U.S. excels.
  • Business opportunities for the company in the three countries visited on this trade mission.
  • Timeliness of complete application and participation agreement, including payment of all applicable participation fees.
  • Provision of adequate information on company’s products/services and primary market objectives, in order to facilitate appropriate matching with potential business partners.
  • A company’s products or services must be either produced in the United States or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51 percent U.S. content of the value of the finished product or service.
  • Any partisan political activities (including political contributions) of an applicant are irrelevant to the selection process.

Promotional Campaign

Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Internet, press releases to the general and trade media, direct mail and broadcast fax, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and announcements at industry meetings, symposiums, conferences, and trade shows.

  • $1,995 for a company's first representative;
  • $500 per each additional representative.
  • Costs for the optional stop in Amman, Jordan is $900.

A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 15 participating companies is desired. Contact

Ms. Lisa C. HuotU.S. Department of Commerce, GTP room 2118Washington, DC 20230Tel: 202-482-2796; Fax: 202-482-0115E-Mail: Lisa_Huot@ita.doc.gov