Saudi Arabia topples India as top defense importer

met-16DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has dislodged India to become the world’s top defense importer in 2014, while China inched closer to its Asian neighbor at third position, research company IHS said in a report.
US continues to be the top defense exporter followed by Russia, France and UK, the ranking unchanged from 2013, the information agency said in its annual defense report.

“In 2014, Saudi Arabia replaced India as the largest importer of defense equipment worldwide and took the top spot as the number one trading partner for the US,” the IHS report added.

Similarly, China jumped from the world’s fifth to the third largest defense importer, the report added.
It also pointed that China was the largest recipient of defense equipments from Russia in 2014 valued at USD 2.3 billion followed by India at USD 1.7 billion, and Venezuela and Vietnam each at USD 1 billion.
In 2014, global defense trade increased for the sixth straight year to USD 64.4 billion, up from USD 56.8 billion, IHS added.

“This record figure has been driven by unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific,” IHS senior defense analyst Ben Moores said.

Moores added that “one out of every seven dollars” spent on defense imports in 2015 will be spent by Saudi Arabia. And its imports increased by 54 per cent between 2013 and 2014 and, based on planned deliveries, imports will increase by 52 per cent to USD 9.8 billion in 2015.-PTI

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