Germany arms exports rise 13% since 2014: study
The global arms trade has grown by 7.8 per cent since 2014 to 2018 and by 13 per cent in Germany compared 2009 to 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
The largest exporters were the US, Russia, France, Germany and China, which accounted for 75 per cent of all international arms supplies over the previous five years.
The report said France was the third-highest arms exporter with 6.8 per cent of the world’s trade, followed by Germany with 6.4 per cent and China 5.2 per cent.
Arms sales to West Asia almost doubled over the period.
German exports since 2014 mostly went to Israel, South Korea and Greece, with Germany’s naval vessels and submarines attracting particular interest.
Russia was the world’s second-largest exporter, selling weapons to 48 countries and supplying 20 per cent of global arms deliveries.
Sipri said Russian arms exports fell 17 per cent over 2014-18, with a fall in arms imports by India and Venezuela the major factors in the drop.
Germany prides itself in having one of the world’s most restrictive arms export policies.
Weapons exports are subject to government approval and foreign buyers have to sign a deal pledging not to resell their purchases.
German firearm manufacturer Heckler and Koch faced trial in May last year over thousands of rifles that were allegedly exported illegally to Mexican states gripped by drug violence.
A German court fined the company €3.7 million last month and gave suspended jail terms to two of its former staff members.
In November last year, Berlin stopped all arms exports to Saudi Arabia after the killing of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel then signed a deal forbidding the sale of weapons to any country directly involved in the Yemeni civil war.
US exports alone account for 36 per cent of the global arms trade. The figure was six percentage points higher than during 2009-13. Half of US sales went to West Asia.
“The USA has further consolidated its position as the world’s leading arms supplier,” said Sipri arms trade analyst Aude Fleurant.
US fighter jets, short-range missiles, guided bombs and other items were exported to at least 98 countries, which is far more nations than any of the other exporters in the report.
Saudi Arabia received nearly 25 per cent of US weapons sold from 2014-18, importing more weapons than any other nation with 12 per cent of global imports.
Germany prides itself on its arms export controls. Picture credit: Wikimedia