India Is World's Largest Arms Buyer, Accounting For 12% Of Global Imports: Report

| March 13 , 2018 , 08:58 IST

Data on international arms transfers released by global think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Monday has shown that India continues to be world's largest arms importer, accounting for approximately 12 percent of global arms imports from 2013-2017.

The report also shows that the arms imports by India increased by 24 percent between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017.

Due to a poor domestic defence-industrial base, India procures 65 percent of its defence requirements from other countries. Despite the government's focus on 'Make In India' the domestic acquisitions that do take place are 90 percent from the 5 defence PSUs, 4 shipyards and 41 ordnance factories, with little contribution from the private sector.

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Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that defence PSUs and ordnance factories need to be “made a lot more dynamic.”

World's top arms importers after India are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, China, Australia, Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan and Indonesia. India's largest arms suppliers from 2013-2017 were Russia, accounting for 62 percent, US for 15 percent and Israel for 11 percent.

Currently, India remains the biggest buyer for arms from Russia and Israel. However, the US has been steadily increasing its military sales to India, with an increase of 557 percent between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017 to combat China's growing influence in the Asian region.

China is among the top 5 arms exporters after the US, Russia, France and Germany with its biggest clients being Pakistan, for 35 percent of its arms exports, and Bangladesh for 19 percent.