India remains the world’s largest weapons importer over a five-year period according to latest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on global arms purchased with Russia being the top supplier garnering 70 per cent of the Indian market.
According to the recent report titled published by SIPRI “Trends in international arms transfers-2015”, India accounted for 14 per cent of total imports between 2011 and 2015 which were three times greater than those of China and Pakistan. China ranks second with 4.7 per cent, Australia 3.6 per cent, Pakistan 3.3 per cent, Vietnam 2.9 per cent and South Korea 2.6 per cent.
Earlier China used to top the imports chart but has gradually built a stronger DIB over the last couple of decades.
It is to be mentioned here that, after Russia, India’s biggest arms suppliers are USA, Israel and France. However on an annual basis India ceded its top spot to Saudi Arabia in 2015 which is reflective of the turmoil in the West Asia. The report noted that a major reason for the high level of Indian imports is because India’s arms industry has so far largely failed to produce competitive in digenously designed weapons. While the Indian government has embarked on an ambitious Make in India drive to increase domestic manufacturing it is yet to bring in any meaningful technology build up in the country.
On the other hand, the top five exporters in the period were U.S., Russia, China, France and Germany where India merely extended its top run from 2006-2010 period.
According to the SIPRI report on global arms purchases, China is now the third largest exporter which supplied major arms to 37 states in 2011-15, but the majority of these exports (75 per cent) were to states in Asia and Oceania which was 139 per cent higher than in 2006-10. Interestingly China sold most of its weapons to India’s neighbors- Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Pakistan is the main recipient of Chinese arms exports, notching up 35% of the total, followed by Bangladesh (20%) and Myanmar (16%). Russia, in turn, is China’s largest arms supplier with 59%, followed by France (15%) and Ukraine (14%).
During the period between 2006-2010 and 2011-2015, China increased its exports of major arms by 88 per centand concurrently China’s global share of arms exports rose from 3.6 to 5.9 per cent.
[Compiled By Fakhrul Islam, Source: SIPRI, Dawn,The Hindu]