Asia and Middle East states topped the list of the world’s biggest weapons importers between 2011 and 2015, while the United States and Russia were the biggest arms exporters, a new report revealed.
The report, published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), found that the volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2011-2015 was 14 per cent higher than in 2006-2010.
According to the report, six of the top ten largest arms importers during the five year period beginning in 2011 were in Asia and Oceania. India accounted for 14 percent of global arms imports, China for 4.7 percent, Australia for 3.6 percent, Pakistan for 3.3 percent, Vietnam for 2.9 percent and South Korea for 2.6 percent.
During this period, Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer, increasing its arms imports by 275 percent compared to 2006–2010. Arms import also increased in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Egypt.
“A coalition of Arab states is putting mainly US and European sourced advanced arms into use in Yemen,” senior SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman said in the report.
“Despite low oil prices, large deliveries of arms to the Middle East are scheduled to continue as part of contracts signed in the past five years,” Wezeman added.
“As regional conflicts and tensions continue to mount, the USA remains the leading global arms supplier by a significant margin,” said Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.