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AFP
December 10, 2019

Arms sales up by nearly 5pc

World

AFP
December 10, 2019

STOCKHOLM: Arms sales rose by nearly five percent worldwide in 2018 in a market dominated by the United States, according to a new report published on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The turnover of the 100 biggest arms manufacturers came to $420 billion, thanks in large part to the US market, said the report. US manufacturers alone accounted for 59 percent of the market, or a turnover of $246 billion, up 7.2 percent on the previous year.

"This is a significant increase over one year considering the already high levels of US combined arms sales," Aude Fleurant, the director of SIPRI’s arms transfers and military expenditure programme, told AFP.

US firms were benefitting from the Trump administration’s decision to modernise its armed services to reinforce its position against China and Russia. Russia was second in the rankings for arms production, with 8.6 percent of the market, just ahead of the United Kingdom on 8.4 percent and France on 5.5 percent.

The study did not include China, for which there was insufficient data, but SIPRI’s research estimated that there were between three and seven Chinese businesses in the top 100 arms manufacturers. Two major European companies, Airbus and MBDA were also responding to "demand due to ongoing armed conflicts and severe tensions in several regions", Fleurant added.

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