Paramount Group, Africa's largest privately owned defence and aerospace company has expanded its business into South America, in a sign of significant international growth for the company, and following successful trials of its armoured vehicles with a number of police forces in the region.
Paramount Group has announced a strategic partnership with pioneering Argentinean defence and homeland security company, Codesur, in an agreement based on shared technology and a regional programme to introduce Paramount Group's security and land systems, electronic and aerospace systems to Latin America.
Regional demand for Paramount Group's technologies could see the manufacturing of armoured vehicles in Argentina and other major centres, which would create local jobs and involve technology transfer to the region, depending upon local demand for its vehicles.
The Rio de Janeiro Special Operations Police (BOPE) recently completed highly successful trials of Paramount's flagship internal vehicle, Maverick, which involved live fire exercises, simulated civil unrest and attacks with Molotov cocktails.
Paramount Group has also been engaged in on-going conversations with security officials across South America, exploring new and on-going opportunities throughout this fast growing region.
Two weeks ago Paramount presented its world leading security technologies to military and public safety officials at an event designed to address safety and security across the continent, particularly in the lead up to the World Cup and Olympic games.
Paramount Group's expansion into South America comes at an opportune time with Brazil preparing to host a multitude of the world's largest events, including the Confederations Cup (June 2013), a Papal Visit (July 2013), the FIFA World Cup (2014) and the Olympics & Paralympics in 2016 - a first for any Latin American country.
These events offer Brazil and its neighbours an unparalleled opportunity to promote Latin America to the world - but also present authorities with security challenges ranging from crowd control to the threat of international terrorism.
Paramount Group CEO, John Craig said: "This is an historic day for Paramount Group as we announce our partnership with leading Argentinean company, Codesur. That we have chosen Codesur as our first security partner in Latin America says volumes about our belief in their technology, and opportunities throughout the continent.
"The formidable growth of Latin America's economies demands an even greater need to ensure and maintain stability. As with countries all over the world, and particularly emerging economies, stability is essential to economic and democratic prosperity," he said.
"The similarities between South America and South Africa, from a history of dealing with social challenges, to a now brighter outlook built on stability and economic prosperity; mean Paramount have a unique understanding of Latin America's evolving security requirements.
"Many of the issues that South America face are found in their own backyard. Drug trafficking, gang warfare and high levels of crime have led to a need for a diversified military, that not only deals with defence threats but other forms of security as well.
"Paramount's vehicles and security solutions have been designed to meet these unique challenges; it is what sets us apart from our competitors and makes us the logical security supplier and partner to Brazil and other Latin American countries.
"Over the last year or so we have been engaging with a number of police forces in the region and we have received very positive feedback on the Maverick, which we see huge potential for in the region.
"It is our hope that as this strategic partnership with Codesur evolves it will result in the manufacturing of our technologies in Argentina and other parts of Latin America."
Codesur Chairman, Mario Mantoto said: "Under the auspices of the Embassy of South Africa, the Defense Attaché of South Africa and the Argentine-South African Chamber of Commerce, Paramount Group and Codesur are pleased to announce their strategic business partnership in the field of defense, public security and technological innovation.
"At the launch event hosted by the South Africa and Argentina Chamber of Commerce, Paramount Group delivered an overview of its product and services', and presented Maverick, a modern vehicle especially designed for the police and security forces," he said.
Oscar Hanser, Chairman of the Argentinian/South African Chamber of Commerce, who also spoke at the event, noted that Argentina exports $1.2 billion worth of products to South Africa every year, whereas South Africa only sells $200 million to Argentina.
He said: "In these circumstances it is impossible to imagine a future without Africa, and South Africa acts as a gateway to the region."
Miles Chambers, Business Development Director of Paramount Group, spoke of a shared passion for innovation between the two countries.
"Paramount Group is a success story born from the passion for innovation that South Africa and Argentina share. It is this innovation that has seen us grow to be Africa's largest privately owned defence and security company, and make history by designing and manufacturing Africa's first aircraft, AHRLAC.
"AHRLAC, a state-of-the-art reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, is designed to tackle the security challenges facing Latin America; such as border and maritime patrol, internal security, human trafficking and the illegal drugs trade. AHRLAC is also especially designed to work in partnership with our other security platforms.
"These platforms include internal security vehicle Maverick, Marauder and Matador 4x4 Mine Protected Vehicles, Mbombe 6x6 Infantry Combat Vehicle, the recently launched Marauder Patrol Armoured rapid response vehicle, and state of the art electronic and communication systems.
"All of our defence and security platforms also work well with existing infrastructure deployed by various security services throughout Latin America.
"Through technology transfers, and the focus on sustainable and multirole equipment, we can ensure investment in Paramount's solutions meet the ever changing needs of security forces, providing product longevity for up to 20 years," Mr Chambers said.