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Last Updated:[17-03-2010 00:19:07 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Developing Nations Follow Rich - Pile up Arms with New Lucre

tradenews According to a new study, the emerging economies of Latin America as well as South Asia are amassing arms to improve their defence status with their new earnings delivered by globalization. In the past century if it was the advanced nations who indulged in this trend based on artificial threat perceptions, the developing countries are trying to replicate the same, in the present century, rather to enhance their defence status.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) stated in its annual report that the global arms race had accelerated, most dramatically in South America and South-east Asia, despite the economic meltdown. The Swedish institute, which conducts independent research on arms trade and its implications, said global defence transfers in the last five years had risen by 22 percent, with Asia and Oceania the biggest recipients with 41 percent of the total.

According to the head of the report, Paul Holtom, resource-rich countries were setting the trend by using their earnings to build out their combat aircraft fleets, and neighbouring rivals had reacted to these acquisitions with orders of their own. Furthermore, he questioned the rationale of these countries’ defence procurement policy in the allocation of resources in regions with high levels of poverty.

The study pointed out that it was able to witness a significant demand for combat aircrafts, and warned that deliveries of combat aircraft could fuel an arms race in the Middle East, north Africa, South America and south Asia. It said combat aircrafts accounted for 39 percent of major US weapons sales over the past five years, and about 40 percent of Russian arms exports.

Without any surprise, the US continued to top the chart with 30 percent of the total arms exports, followed by Russia at 23 percent, Germany (11%), and France (8%). It should be recalled that the study period was inclusive of more than two years of global economic contraction. However, the report was not in a position to provide the cost of the arms trade as most governments no longer released the figures.

By Jose Roy

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