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Last Updated:[15-06-2009 09:05:05 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Recession Impacted the UK Defence Exports despite Claims of No. 2 in 2008

tradenews In spite of claims of second place in the world on defense equipment export for 2008 and a 17 percent share of the global market, Britain’s defense exports fell marginally over the last five years’ average of 21 percent. According to the UK Trade & Investment's Defence and Security Organisation (DSO), their firms have recorded exports valued at about $7bn for the last year.

It should be recalled the UK was the world’s largest defense exporter in 2007, accounting for a third of global defense exports. Britain was able to achieve the whopping figures of about $31bn worth of exports in 2007 particularly by the orders for Eurofighter Typhoon jets from Saudi Arabia. The jets are expected to be delivered to the Royal Saudi Air Force by this weekend.

DSO in its latest release said, as there was not any significant slide in defense demand as compared to previous years, the defense and security sectors are weathering the recession better than many other sectors. Nevertheless, Chris Baker, the DSO operations director acknowledged that 2009 wouldn’t be an easy year for the more resilient defense industry.

The DSO list show that the US retaining the highest rank followed by the UK and France in defense sales. However, according to another list issued by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in April showed that while the US remained the world's largest defense exporter, Russia, Germany and France came next in order followed by the UK at the fifth place.

The DSO authorities have admitted that their yardstick of assessment is based on deals signed in any one given year, while all other major players use actual deliveries to arrive at their figures. The DSO was formed last year after the Defence Export Sales Organisation was controversially moved by Prime Minister Gordon Brown from Ministry of Defence ownership to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

By Jose Roy

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