Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Weapons Sales Worldwide Rise to Highest Level Since 2000

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 - The value of military weapons sales worldwide jumped in 2004 to the highest level since 2000, driven by arms deals with developing nations, especially India, Saudi Arabia and China, according to a new Congressional study.
The total of arms sales and weapons transfer agreements to both industrialized and developing nations was nearly $37 billion in 2004, according to the study.
That total was the largest since 2000, when global arms sales reached $42.1 billion, and was far above the 2003 figure of $28.5 billion.
The United States once again dominated global weapons sales, signing deals worth $12.4 billion in 2004, or 33.5 percent of all contracts worldwide. But that was down from $15.1 billion in 2003.
The share of American arms contracts specifically with developing nations was $6.9 billion in 2004, or 31.6 percent of all such deals, up slightly from $6.5 billion in 2003.
Russia was second in global arms sales, with $6.1 billion in agreements, or 16.5 percent of all such contracts, a notable increase from its $4.4 billion in sales in 2003. In 2004, Russia signed arms transfer deals worth $5.9 billion with the developing world, 27.1 percent of the global total, up from $4.3 billion in 2003.
Britain was third in arms transfer agreements to the developing world in 2004, signing contracts worth $3.2 billion, while Israel ranked fourth, with deals worth $1.2 billion. France followed with $1 billion.

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