SIPRI publishes global arms transfer data from 2013 to 2017

Issue: 2 / 2018

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has revealed new data on arms transfers showing a 10 per cent increase in the volume of international major weapons transfers in 2013-17 from 2008-12. Between the 2008-12 and 2013-17 periods, the flow of arms increased to Asia and Oceania and to the Middle East, while Africa, the Americas, and Europe reported a fall in the supply of arms during the time.

In 2013-17, the five biggest arms exporters, the US, Russia, France, Germany, and China accounted for 74 per cent of all weapons exports. During the period, the US accounted for 34 per cent of total arms exports, which increased by 25 per cent from 2008-12. According to SIPRI, the country exported major arms to 98 states in 2013-17, with exports to states in the Middle East accounting for 49 per cent of the total US arms exports in that period. China is reported to be the fifth largest arms supplier, with exports registered to have significantly increased by 38 per cent from 2008-12 to 2013-17.

Israel, South Korea, and Turkey have reportedly enhanced their arms supply by 55 per cent, 65 per cent, and 145 per cent respectively. In terms of arms imports, Middle East states registered a significant rise of 103 per cent from 2008-12 to 2013-17 and accounted for 32 per cent of global arms imports in 2013-17. In 2013-17, Saudi Arabia was reported to be the world’s second-largest arms importer, while Egypt was the third largest and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the fourth largest.

During the period, India became the largest importer of major arms in the world and accounted for 12 per cent of the global arms import. The country reported an increase of 24 per cent in 2013-17.

The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database provides data on all international transfers of major weapons, including sales, gifts, and production licences, between states, international organisations, and armed nonstate groups.