Asia and Middle East lead in arms imports
In its 2015 annual report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) indicates an amazing jump in imports by Vietnam (699 weapons per cent), Saudi Arabia (275 per cent) and Qatar (279 per cent). China takes third spot as exporter after the United States and Russia, increasing its sales by 88, including to Africa. Five Western European countries (France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and Italy) represent 21 per cent of weapons exports in the world.
Stockholm (AsiaNews) – Asia and the Middle East lead the rise in arms imports, says the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in its 2015 annual report.
Between 2011 and 2015, Asia and Oceania led the way in imports with an increase of 26 per cent. Arms imports by states in the Middle East rose by 61 per cent in the same period. In Asia, the main global arms importers were India (14 per cent) and China (4.7 per cent).
In 2011–15 Saudi Arabia saw an increase of 275 per cent compared to 2006–10 in imports. In the same period, arms imports by Qatar went up by 279 per cent. Vietnam’s arms imports rose by 699 per cent.
States in Asia and Oceania received 46 per cent of global imports in 2011–15. In addition to India, China, and Vietnam, other important importers in the region were Pakistan (3.3 per cent), and South Korea (2.6 per cent).
In Asia, China has become a major arms exporter. Beijing reduced its imports by 25 per cent and boosted its exports by 88 per cent compared to 2006–10, thus becoming the third largest exporter (5.9 per cent) after the United States (33 per cent) and Russia (25 per cent).
The largest importers from China are Pakistan (33 per cent), Bangladesh (20 per cent) and Myanmar (16 per cent). However, China has also expanded sales in Africa thanks to cheaper weapon. In Africa arms imports has grown by 19 per cent.
In the Middle East, the lion's share of imports belongs to Saudi Arabia, which accounted for 27 per cent of imports to the region, becoming the second largest importer of weapons in the world. Another 18 per cent goes to the United Arab Emirates and 14 per cent to Turkey. According to SIPRI, the war in Yemen explains the rise in arms imports to Saudi Arabia (and Qatar).
The main suppliers to the region are the United States (53 per cent), Great Britain (9.6) and Russia (8.2). Because of the embargo imposed by the United Nations, Iran saw a drop in imports for the 2011-2015 period.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, arms imports by Iraq rose by 83 per cent between 2006–10 and 2011–15.
Arms exports from Europe have declined. Five western countries (France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and Italy) provide 21 per cent of arms exports in the world. Italy is among the main suppliers of weapons to the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan.