Pak­istan 10th largest arms im­porter for 2015

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pak­istan was the tenth largest arms im­porter in the world in 2015, down one spot from num­ber nine the pre­vi­ous year, a mil­i­tary think tank data­base re­veals, while Saudi Ara­bia was the lead­ing arms im­porter in the world, fol­lowed closely by In­dia.

The Stock­holm In­ter­na­tional Peace Re­search In­sti­tute (SIPRI) data­base shows In­dia was the top arms im­porter in 2014. Pak­istan spent $735 mil­lion on arms im­ports in 2015. In com­par­i­son, In­dia im­ported arms worth $3,078m. The largest ex­porter of arms to Pak­istan in 2015 was China, with arms trans­fers worth $565 mil­lion, fol­lowed by the United States (US) with $66m in arms trans­fers. Pak­istan is also China's largest buyer for arms, ac­count­ing for 35 per cent of to­tal arms sales in the coun­try, fol­lowed by Bangladesh and Myan­mar. Close mil­i­tary ties be­tween Pak­istan and China have some­times stoked ten­sions with In­dia, which is seek­ing to boost its own home­grown weapons in­dus­try and has long ob­jected to other coun­tries forg­ing de­fence deals with Pak­istan.

Ear­lier this month, In­dia raised con­cerns re­gard­ing the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets from the US to Pak­istan, say­ing, "We dis­agree with their ra­tio­nale that such arms trans­fers help to com­bat ter­ror­ism". The US re­jected In­dia's con­cerns, claim­ing the trans­fer was made in the in­ter­est of re­gional sta­bil­ity and counter-ter­ror­ism ef­forts. The largest ex­porter of arms to In­dia is Rus­sia with arms trans­fers worth $1,964m, fol­lowed by Is­rael and the United States (US) with $316m and $302m in trans­fers re­spec­tively.

A SIPRI re­port on global arms trans­fers shows China has al­most dou­bled its weapons ex­ports in the past five years as the world's third-largest weapons ex­porter poured cap­i­tal into de­vel­op­ing an ad­vanced arms man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try. Chi­nese ex­ports of ma­jor arms, which ex­cludes most light weaponry, grew by 88pc in 2011-2015 com­pared to the ear­lier fiveyear time­frame, SIPRI said.

The coun­try still ac­counted for only 5.9pc of global arms ex­ports from 2011-2015, well be­hind the US and Rus­sia, by far the world's two largest arms ex­porters. The US ex­ported $10,484m in arms in 2015, while Rus­sia ex­ported $5,483m dur­ing the same time pe­riod.

The US and Rus­sia saw weapons ex­ports grow by 27pc and 28pc re­spec­tively, while ex­ports of ma­jor arms by France and Ger­many, the fourth and fifth largest weapons ex­porters, fell over the same pe­riod. "The Chi­nese un­til ten years ago were only able to of­fer low-tech equip­ment. That has changed," said Siemon Weze­man, Se­nior Re­searcher with the SIPRI Arms and Mil­i­tary Ex­pen­di­ture Pro­gramme. "The equip­ment that they pro­duce is much more highly ad­vanced than ten years ago, and at­tracts in­ter­est from some of the big­ger mar­kets."

China has in­vested bil­lions de­vel­op­ing its home­grown weapons in­dus­try to sup­port its grow­ing mar­itime am­bi­tions in the South China Sea and the In­dian Ocean, and also with an eye to­ward for­eign mar­kets for its com­par­a­tively low cost tech­nol­ogy. Its to­tal mil­i­tary bud­get in 2015 was 886.9 bil­lion yuan ($141.45 bil­lion), up 10pc from a year ear­lier. In 2011 to 2015, China's arms im­ports fell 25pc com­pared with the pre­vi­ous five year pe­riod, sig­nalling a grow­ing con­fi­dence in the coun­try's home­grown weaponry de­spite key ar­eas of weak­ness, the re­port said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.