India is world's largest arms importer


In the period between 2013 and 2017, arms imports to the conflict-ridden Middle East more than doubled, jumping by 103 percent compared with the previous five-year period, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) calculated.

It said Tokyo turned to the USA for several types of advanced weapons between 2013 and 2017, including the first batches of a total of 42 combat aircraft.

France is the third-place exporter, followed by Germany and China.

"This development is part of the growing strategic partnership between the two countries under which the United States of America has begun to supply India with advanced military equipment", the report said.

On the other hand, India was the largest importer of arms during the 2013-'17 period. Together, these five countries account for 74% of arms supplies around the world.

"Although the volume of China's arms exports to Pakistan remained roughly the same in both periods, its share of Pakistan's arms imports rose from 45 per cent in 2008-12 to 70 per cent in 2013-17 due to the overall decrease in Pakistan's arms imports between those periods", the report stated.

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Russia, the world's second greatest exporter, saw a decline of 7.1% in its general volume of arms sends out; U.S. trades were 58% higher than those of Russia.

Arms exports by Russian Federation decreased by over seven percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17, the report says.

And the Middle East accounted for 32 percent of all arms imports worldwide. The SIPRI report notes that while European Union member-states and the U.S. have imposed arms embargoes due to the use of force against the Rohingyas, China is the main weapons supplier.

Weapons imports to the Middle East and Asia have boomed over the past five years, fueled by war and tensions in those regions, a new study showed on Monday. More than half of Russian exports were directed to India, China and Vietnam.

And India was the world's largest weapons importer, with Russian Federation its main supplier accounting for 62 percent of its imports. Arms imports by Egypt-the third largest importer in 2013-17-grew by 215 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. "China delivered major arms to 48 countries in 2013-17. The United Arab Emirates was the fourth largest importer in 2013-17, while Qatar (the 20th largest arms importer) increased its arms imports and signed several major deals in that period", SIPRI said. Saudi Arabia is the most important single customer of the United States arms industry with almost 20% of USA sales. In fact, Indian arms imports have increased in the past five years, despite a continued push for indigenous production.