Brussels (Brussels Morning) Total arms exports in the past five years did not increase compared to the 2011-2015 period. Although the US, France and Germany recorded significant growth in their exports, this was offset in terms of global arms sales by a corresponding drop in Russian and Chinese exports, according to a Swedish think-tank report.
Data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) show that, French arms exports grew the fastest between 2016 and 2020, increasing by 44% to account for 8.2% of global arms exports for the period, keeping France firmly in the third place.
The US remained in first place with a 37% share of global arms exports, up from 32% five years before. Its gain represented a growth of 15%, widening the gap between the first two places since Russian exports contracted 22% and now account for 20% of global exports.
Germany took the fourth place among global arms exporters, growing 21% in the 2016-2020 period compared to 2011-2015. It now accounts for 5.5% of global arms transfers. China dropped to fifth place, its exports having contracted 7.8% in the 2016-2020 period, and now account for 5.2% of global transfers.
Asia buying arms
The biggest growth in demand for arms over the observed period was recorded in the Middle East. Regional states imported 25% more arms during the 2016-2020 period than in the preceding period. Saudi Arabia increased its imports by 61%, while Qatar increased its imports by 361%.
The largest arms importing region for major arms was Asia and Oceania, which received 42% of global arms transfers in the observed period. The largest regional importers were India, Australia, China, South Korea and Pakistan.