In October 2020, KPMG Australia participated in the inaugural Space Economy Leaders meeting, organised by the Saudi Space Commission, where representatives from the world’s 20 largest economies came together to discuss the future space economy.

The purpose of the virtual conference was to facilitate a discussion between influential countries who have a shared vision of elevating the space sector with a view to collaborating on existing and future projects revolving around space exploration, industry investment, and innovation. The meetings was also attended by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Themes that arose throughout the event were:

  • International collaboration and knowledge sharing are fundamental to space advancement.
  • Space is an enabler of green economies and achieving our Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Protecting the space domain is required to ensure longevity of our presence there.
  • Innovations in the space sector are improving productivity in traditional industries.
  • Entrepreneurship and technical expertise are still essential for the growth of the sector.
  • New nations and markets are becoming spacefaring and benefiting.
  • Space is important to many nation’s recovery from COVID-19 and its economic impact.
  • Connectivity is being enabled through space.
  • Space is helping develop the workforce of the future and inspiring how we connect and engage.
  • Space is becoming commercialised, with reliance on government spending reducing.

Attendees also discussed the significant potential that space offers to support economies as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the years ahead, space will be an enabler in driving environmental sustainability, advances in healthcare, and innovation in manufacturing. Cooperation will be key to achieving these outcomes as the domestic public and private sectors work together with the global community.

As a response to the event, KPMG International have developed the G20 Voices on the Future of the Space Economy report in partnership with the Saudi Space Commission. This report expands on the themes raised at the event and provides recommendations on the best course of action for those economies who wish to maximise the potential the space industry has to offer.

Omer Tauqir

Partner, Head of Defense and Defense Industries

KPMG in Saudi Arabia