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Swedish arms exporters enjoy roaring trade

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Saab's ground-based air defence missile system Bamse: Photo: Saab AB
14:09 CET+01:00
Swedish defence exports increased by 22 percent last year, with trade outside the EU making up almost half of all arms deals.

Sweden exported defence products worth 11.9 billion kronor ($1.86 billion) in 2013, showed the annual tally from the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (Inspektionen för strategiska produkter - ISP), the state body tasked with arms export oversight.

"Just like previous years a smaller number of big deals dominated exports," ISP head Christer Ahlström said in a statement.

Fifty-four percent of exports went to to EU member states or to established trade partners such as Canada, South Africa, and the US, the agency noted. A score of other partners, including India and Saudi Arabai, made up the remainder of 46 percent. Thailand's purchase of the Swedish fighter jet JAs 39 Gripen was also a key deal last year.

Marine weapons system to the US and airborne radar to Saudi Arabia also made the list.

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Overall, Swedish exports to the Middle East were limited apart from significant deals with the Saudi and the Emiratis. Since 2012, Swedish companies must apply for a permit to export enforced armour plates, which was sent to Egypt and Israeli. There were also some small-scale follow-up orders shipped to Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. Some minor equipment upgrades were sent to Tunisia and Algeria.  

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