Pakistan becomes the largest importers in Asia: SIPRI

STOCKHOLM: The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), on Monday, informed via a report that Pakistan, among other counties, such as India, Australia, China, and South Korea, was the largest importer of major weapons.

In the report by SIPRI, Pakistan collected 42% of global arms transactions in 2016–20.

The United States, France, and Germany – three of the world’s largest exporters – increased supplies, but the decline in exports from Russia and China offset the growth, SIPRI added.

Foreign supplies of weapons were flat, it added, in the period 2016-2020, ending more than a decade of expansions.

The number of major weapons exports between countries – an indication of demand – did not increase from the previous five-year cycle for the first time since 2001–2005, according to SIPRI.

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Although the pandemic has slowed down markets across the world and driven many countries into deep recessions, SIPRI said it was too early to say if a slowdown in weapons supplies is likely to occur.

In a statement, Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher with the SIPRI Weapons and Military Expenditure Programme, said, “The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could see some countries reassessing their arms imports in the coming years.”

“However, at the same time, also at the height of the 2020 pandemic, many countries have signed large weapons contracts.”

Guns sales from the Middle East increased by 25% from 2011 to 2015 in 2016–20, compared to 2011–15.

For eg, the United Arab Emirates recently signed an agreement with the United States to buy 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones as part of a $23 billion deal.

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Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest weapons importer, grew its imports by 61%, while Qatar raised its imports by 361%.

“For many countries in Asia and Oceania, the increasing view of China as a threat is the key driver of weapons imports,” said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Vice President.

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