India was the world’s largest importer of major arms between 2012–16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total sales, according to a new data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent institute that tracks arms proliferation among other issues in conflict studies.
India increased its arms imports by 43 per cent, between 2007–11 and 2012–16. In the last four years India’s imports were far greater than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan, SIPRI said in its report released today on international arms transfer.
“While China is increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remains dependent on weapons technology from many willing suppliers, including Russia, the USA, European states, Israel and South Korea,” said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme in a statement to press.
According to this study increase in arms transfers are driven by demand in Middle east and Asia, with imports by countries in South East Asia going up by 6.2 per cent from 2007–11 to 2012–16. Vietnam was another in South East Asia that made a big jump with its arm imports. Being the 29th largest importer in 2007–11 to the 10th largest in 2012–16, a 202 percent jump in its arms imports.
Middle East has doubled its imports, as between 2007–11 and 2012–16 arms imports by states in the region rose by 86 per cent and accounted for 29 per cent of global imports in 2012–16.
Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer in 2012-16, with an increase of 212 per cent compared with 2007–11. Arms imports by Qatar went up by 245 per cent, SIRPI reported.
The United States of America is the leading arms exporter in the world which increased its exports by 21 percent compared with 2007–11, with almost half of its arms exports going to to the Middle East. Russia comes close second that increased its exports by 23 percent, selling its arms to four countries of India, Vietnam, China and Algeria.
China too is climbing the ladder on the arms exports, who is now a top supplier to France and Germany. The only country that seemed to have cut down on its arms exports is Germany, which over a five-year period, decreased its exports by 36 percent between 2007–11 and 2012–16, SIPRI said.
In the African region, Algeria was the largest importer across Africa, in the sub-Saharan Africa Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia were all the leading importers of arms.