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Friday, 7 February, 2003, 10:48 GMT
US reports South Asian arms boom
US soldier and flag
The US makes two-thirds of international arms deals
The world's biggest arms exporter has reported record sales to developing countries, particularly nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.

The latest "Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers" report, for the years 1999 and 2000, said developing countries had increased spending by 18% to $245bn in the ten years to 1999.

India and Pakistan "had the highest average annual growth rate of any region in the decade, with five percent," the State Department report said.

The US is the world's leading arms merchant, accounting for almost 65% of the all weapons sales in 1999, the report said.

"The United States ... is likely to dominate the world arms market in the near future," it said.

Per head spending

Total global arms spending rose 2% year-on-year to $852bn in 1999, which is 35% below the record level reached in 1989.

Average military spending globally per person has fallen by 43% in the ten years to 1999, it said.

While developed countries spent an average of $517 per person in 1999, developing nations spent an average of $51.

The US alone accounted for 33% of purchases, while Western Europe came second with 22%.

Leading importers were Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan, China-Taiwan and Britain who accounted for 37% of purchases, the report said.

See also:

06 Feb 03 | Business
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06 Sep 02 | Business
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