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India is world's largest arms importer

12 March 2018

Russian Federation was the second-largest exporter with about 20 percent global arms deliveries, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported on March 11 in its latest overview of global weapons transfers. Egypt, UAE and China were also among the world's top five importers.

Five countries - the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China - accounted for almost three-quarters of all arms exports over the past five years. The US, the United Kingdom, and France were the main supplier of arms to the region, while Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE were the main recipient countries.

Extending its lead as the world's biggest arms exporter, the US accounted for 34% of total arms exports.

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The largest exporters of arms are the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China (they provided 74% of total world export of arms for the last 5 years).

SIPRI noted that Russian Federation, the second largest arms exporter, saw a decrease of 7.1 percent in its overall volume of arms exports between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017.

Arms imports to the Middle East have doubled over the past 10 years, fuelled by war and conflicts in the region, said a Swedish-based research institute on Monday. "The increase in exports can be linked to major deals with Saudi Arabia - that's their main arms market by far - and a few other deals", Wezeman says, adding there is no one reason for such a clear rise. China was the fifth largest arms exporter in 2013-17.

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Setting a new trend, China has emerged as the number one arms supplier to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, by supplying almost 70% of the arms used by the military in these three nations.

The Middle East, a region where in the past five years most countries have been involved in conflict, accounted for 32% of global imports of weapons. The SIPRI report notes that while European Union member-states and the USA have imposed arms embargoes due to the use of force against the Rohingyas, China is the main weapons supplier. "China delivered major arms to 48 countries in 2013-17". The US negotiated a package of about $110 billion in arms sales during Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in May past year. "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.

The sale from U.S. arms majors, too, reduced by 76% between 2013 and 2017 compared to the previous five-year period. In fact, Indian arms imports have increased in the past five years, despite a continued push for indigenous production.

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India is world's largest arms importer