International arms trade worth over $ 100 b | Sunday Observer

International arms trade worth over $ 100 b

Civil wars in Syria and Yemen, coupled with the return of great power rivalries between the US, Russia and China, have brought the world’s arms trade into sharp focus.

And unsurprisingly it is a thriving global industry, with the total international trade in arms now worth about $100bn (£74bn) per year, Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said.

In its latest figures, the defence industry think tank says that major weapons sales in the five years to 2017 were 10% higher than in 2008-12.

And it is the United States that is extending its lead as the globe’s number one arms exporter, adds Sipri.It estimates that the US now accounts for 34% of all global arms sales, up from 30% five years ago, and are now at their highest level since the late 1990s.

“The US has been open to supplying arms to a large variety of recipients, and there are a large number of countries ready to acquire weapons from the US,” says Wezeman.

The US’s arms exports are 58% higher than those of Russia, the world’s second-largest exporter. And while US arms exports grew by 25% in 2013-17 compared with 2008-12, Russia’s exports fell by 7.1% over the same period.

It is Middle East States that have been among the US’s biggest customers - Saudi Arabia tops the list - with the region as a whole accounting for almost half of US arms exports during 2013-17. - BBC