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US takes lead in world arms sales
( 2001-08-21 09:14 ) (7 )

The United States, Russia and France together cut almost 90 percent of the world's conventional arms sales deals last year, with most of the weapons going to developing nations, according to a US congressional report.

The United Arab Emirates ranked first in the value of arms transfer agreements among all developing nations weapons purchasers, concluding US$7.4 billion worth of deals. India ranked second with US$4.8 billion and South Korea third with US$2.3 billion.

The top buyers in 1997-2000 were the United Arab Emirates, India and Egypt.

In 2000, the United States ranked first in arms transfer agreements with developing nations at 12.6 billion or 49.7 percent of these agreements, the report said.

Russia was second with 7.4 billion or 29.1 percent of such deals, while France ranked third with 2.1 billion, or 8.3 percent of such agreements.

The total value of US arms transfer agreements with developing nations in 2000 increased by almost US$4 billion last year, from US$8.7 billion in 1999 to US$12.6 billion in 2000.

Out of all arms deliveries made worldwide by all suppliers in 2000, the United States, Britain and Russia collectively delivered nearly US$22.8 billion worth, or 77.5 percent, with the United States taking the lion's share at 48.3 percent -- down slightly from its 49.1 percent share in 1999.

As for arms deliveries to developing nations in 2000, the United States ranked first at US$8.7 billion, or 44.8 percent of all such deliveries. It was the eighth year in a row that the United States has led in such deliveries.

Britain ranked second at 4.4 billion or 22.7 percent of such deliveries, while Russia ranked third at 2.4 billion or 12.4 percent, according to the report produced by the Congressional Research Service.

According to Tamar Gabelnick, arms expert with the Federation of American Scientists, "I'm not surprised that the United States is still the main supplier" since the end of the Cold War.

"This undercuts the arguments from US defense contractors like Lockheed-Martin and Boeing that Pentagon regulations hamper their efforts to compete," he added.

The report, which covers the period 1993-2000, goes on to say that during 1997-2000 developing world nations accounted for 70.2 percent of all deliveries, up from 65.8 percent during the 1993-1996 period.

Authored by Richard Grimmett, specialist in national defense, the report points out that a number of weapons exporters "continue to focus their efforts on maintaining and expanding arms sales to nations and regions where they have competitive advantages due to prior political/military ties.'

It goes on to say that additional notable arms sales are likely in the Near East, Asia and Latin America "as individual nations seek to replace older military equipment."

The Near East "has generally been the largest arms market in the developing world," the report adds, accounting for 54.6 percent in 1993-1996 of the total value of all developing nations arms transfer agreements.

During 1997-2000 the region accounted for 47.2 percent of all such agreements.



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