India is world’s largest arms importer
India was the world’s largest importer of major arms in the last five years and its overseas procurement was far greater than that of China and Pakistan, a Stockholm-based think-tank said.
As per latest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India accounted for 13 per cent of the total global arms import between 2012–16 which is highest among all the countries.
- China was increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remained dependent on weapons technology from Russia, the US, Europe, Israel and South Korea.
- India was the world’s largest importer of major arms in 2012–16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total.
- India increased its arms imports by 43 per cent between 2007–11 and 2012–16 and in the last four years its global procurement was far greater than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan.
- In the last five years, the report found that trade of major weapons has increased to its highest volume since the Cold War, triggered mainly by sudden spurt in demand from Middle East and Asia.
- Saudi Arabia was the 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.
- Russia accounted for a 23 per cent share of global exports in the period 2012–16 and 70 per cent of its arms exports went to India, Vietnam, China and Algeria.
- The US was the top arms exporter in 2012–16 with a one-third share of global arms exports and its supplies rose by 21 per cent compared with 2007–11. Almost half of its arms exports went to the Middle East.
- China’s share of global arms exports rose from 3.8 to 6.2 per cent between 2007–11 and 2012–16. “It is now firmly a top-tier supplier, like France and Germany which accounted for 6 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.
- The USA supplies major arms to at least 100 countries around the world—significantly more than any other supplier state,” said Dr Aude Fleurant, Director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.
- Arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania accounted for 43 per cent of global imports between 2012 and 2016 which was an increase of 7.7 per cent compared to 2007–11 period.
- The volume transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 per cent between 2007–11 and 2012–16. Notably, transfers of major weapons in 2012–16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of the cold war.