The Arms Trade is still Flourishing
The arms trade industry is doing very well. Worldwide arms sales were up 4.6% in 2018. But of course this is also a clear sign of growing tensions and armed conflicts throughout the globe. The hundred world’s largest arms manufacturers sold US$ 420 Billion in arms and military services (Re: SIPRI). Switzerland recently announced a 43% growth of its arms exports sales compared with 2019. The United States with a market share of total global arms exports of 36% clearly lead the field in this area. The current US administration has confirmed that it will continue to invest heavily in the new technologies relevant to defense. And there is no doubt that this country has all the resources it needs to achieve its targets. Russia stands on the second place of this classification with a market share of 8.6%. The UK is the third player with a market share of 8.4% and France ranks fourth with a market share of 5.5%. This study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute -SIPRI- does not include China, a country that provides figures which are often unreliable and difficult to verify. It is important to underline that 61% more weapons have been sold to the Middle East, reflecting the growing instability of this region. Obviously the competition between the USA, on the one hand, and China and Russia, on the other hand is a key factor explaining the growth of this sector. In fact, this situation is rather worrisome. That said, every country wants to ensure the competitiveness of its arms industry and therefore must be able to sell and export its military equipment and technology in international markets. In any case, the arms race looks set to continue.