China will be largest Defense spender by 2021
The time has come – The USA will soon be overtaken by Asia Pacific Regions as biggest spenders for Defense. For very long the United States has been the leading protector of the world, ensuring the task by spending billions annually. Now, by 2021, China will be the first. Weapons spending in China and other Asia Pacific countries is expected to rise 35 percent above its 2013 level to $501 billion (383 billion euros) by 2021, outstripping North America, the “Balance of Trade” study concluded. Overall, global arms trade — composed of arms imports and exports — bucked the economic downturn to increase 30 percent between 2008 and 2012, from $56.5 billion to $73.5 billion. “At this rate, defence trade between countries will have more than doubled by 2020,” the study says. The United States remained the world’s biggest exporter of weapons in 2012 with $28.5 billion, up from $20.1 billion four years earlier. India meanwhile was the world’s biggest importer of arms in 2012, showing a giant leap of 70 percent since 2008, from $3.1 billion to $5.3 billion. But while spending in Asia rose, it fell back in Western Europe where exports were sharply down — its 34.5-percent share of the export market in 2008 fell to 27.5 percent in 2012. “Two things are happening: budgets are shifting east and global arms trade is increasing competition,” said Paul Burton, senior manager of IHS Jane’s DS forecast. “This is the biggest explosion in trade the world has ever seen.” China is reducing the amount of arms it imports as it improves its own production capabilities. But while China’s exports have doubled since 2008, it is being outpaced by South Korea which leaped 688 percent, putting it into the global top 20 with $753 million. While China’s sales are predominantly to its regional neighbours, South Korea is increasingly succeeding in open, or competitive, markets.