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Global arms sales on the rise: Swedish think tank

AFP/The Local · 21 Feb 2011, 07:59

Published: 21 Feb 2011 07:59 GMT+01:00

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"Despite the continuing global economic recession in 2009, the total arms sales of...100 of the world's largest arms-producing companies increased by $14.8 billion from 2008," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a statement upon releasing the report.

That amounts to a year-on-year increase of 8 percent, and "an increase of a total of 59 percent in real terms since 2002", SIPRI said, pointing out that 61.5 percent of all 2009 arms sales made by the top 100 arms dealers could be attributed to 45 companies based in the US.

"US government spending on military goods and services is a key factor in arms sales increases for US arms-producing and military services companies and for Western European companies with a foothold in the US arms and military services market," SIPRI arms industry expert Susan Jackson explained in the statement.

On SIPRI's list of the world's 10 largest arms vendors, seven were American: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, L-3 Communications and United Technologies.

In 2009, Lockheed Martin inched ahead of the UK's BAE Systems to take global first place, raking in $33.4 billion on arms sales compared to BAE's $33.3 billion. Meanwhile, both companies each accounted for 8.3 percent of all weapons sold by the world's top 100 vendors.

BAE's branch in the US alone accounted for $19.3 billion in sales, which if it had been a separate company would have secured it a seventh place on the global ranking, SIPRI said.

Thirty-three of the top 100 companies were based in nine western European countries: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, accounting for $120 billion dollars worth of sales, or 30 percent of all weapons sold in 2009, according to SIPRI.

After BAE, the world's second-largest vendor, trans-European group EADS, topped the ranking for the continent, securing a seventh place with $15.9 billion in sales, or 4 percent of the global market, and Italian Finmeccanica, which ranked eighth globally, with $13.3 billion in sales and 3.3 percent of worldwide sales.

Ten of the companies figuring on the top 100 list were based in Asia, including four in Japan and three in India, while seven were located in the Middle East, three of which were based in Israel.

Together, companies in these two regions generated $24 billion in arms sales, or 6 percent of the global market, SIPRI said. However, these numbers do not include China.

Story continues below…

"Although it is known that several Chinese arms-producing enterprises are large enough to rank among the SIPRI Top 100, a lack of comparable and sufficiently accurate data makes it impossible to include them," Jackson explained to AFP.

SIPRI defines arms sales as "sales of military goods and services to military customers, including both sales for domestic procurement and sales for export."

The think tank, which specialises in research on conflicts, weapons, arms control and disarmament, was created in 1966 and is 50 percent financed by the Swedish state.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:47 February 21, 2011 by Nemesis
Between rising house prices and growing arms sales that should account for most of the growth in the Swedish economy.
09:32 February 21, 2011 by zeero
No s#%T Sherlock, even a baby, watching the news can see that....
09:55 February 21, 2011 by HYBRED
It is just a shame that more of these weapons/arms are not more available to the general public here in Sweden.
10:00 February 21, 2011 by Abdul Mannan
$401 billion in 2009.

I am sure that this the way all these countries are distributing the peace in the world, so that they can have their piece of cake. Like all the disputed or conspired issues have roots from these companies. This was the only one reason arranged an attack on twin towers and started war against terror, and the people who are ruling in different countries their agents so that they don,t have any leagal issues. while the most of the media in the world firing this further up. so their is unstopable cycle for producing and buying have started.
10:20 February 21, 2011 by UScitizen
@ zeero

How right you are!

"The think tank ....................... is 50 percent financed by the Swedish state. "

What a waste of the taxpayers money.
10:23 February 21, 2011 by dbeholder
Imagine 401 billion invested in finding the cure to cancer.
10:27 February 21, 2011 by Rishonim
@HYBRED, the weapons are available to the general public whom are set ready to cause damage to our way of life in this here Sweden. The terrorist already have the weapons stashed away and will not hesitate to use it against their neighbors when the time is right.
11:25 February 21, 2011 by johnny1939
You are right, all of you!!! My first thought reading the article was: "A think tank" for what?? We are actually wasting money on this? I am holding my head...perhaps I should not be reading The Local before coffee......
16:05 February 21, 2011 by SOUTHLONDON
There you go another European country earning its core wage for accessory to murder!!!!!!!!!!
16:33 February 21, 2011 by Swedesmith
War spelled backwards is raw...as in raw profits.
17:06 February 21, 2011 by wotist
@Nemesis - How big a share of the Swedish GDP do you think arms sales account for?!
01:38 February 22, 2011 by Ravioli

Sure, europe is making weapons. But guess what? They aren't twisting anyone's arm to buy them!
08:07 February 22, 2011 by krattan
Swedish arms industry is somewhat of a cultural heritage. Due to vast supply of iron we probably exported battle axes already in the iron age and Sweden has been exporting cannons for hundreds of years. I don't think you can supply guns and still pretend to be a peaceful nation but I'm not sure where I stand on this. If you look at the world and its declining resources from a objective point of view it seems to be time to arm up again.
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