Asia-Pacific arms spending to outstrip North America’s by ’21: analysts


Defense budgets in the Asia-Pacific region will overtake the U.S. and Canada combined by 2021, according to a study by respected analysts published by IHS Jane’s.

Weapons spending in China and regional neighbors is expected to rise 35 percent above its 2013 level to $501 billion by 2021, outstripping North America, the Balance of Trade study concluded.

Overall, the global arms trade bucked the economic downturn to increase 30 percent between 2008 and 2012, from $56.5 billion to $73.5 billion. “At this rate, defense trade between countries will have more than doubled by 2020,” the study said.

The U.S. remained the world’s biggest exporter of weapons last year with $28.5 billion, up from $20.1 billion four years earlier. But India was the world’s biggest importer of arms, posting a giant leap of 70 percent since 2008, from $3.1 billion to $5.3 billion.

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 at IHS Jane’s. “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 at $753 million.

  • J1984

    The net results is the diminishing of the US’s ability to micro-manage international disputes

    • Paldo

      The US had never done any “micro-manage international disputes”. Wake up! If you had lived in the US or ever read the US newspapers or watched the US TV’s, you would find that everything is “American interest”. The US never did a bit of international policing but bulleying. Naming enemies one after another for those who do not toe their line. The US is the number one terrorist in the world. Don’t be naive folks, there is not justice for the US but “national interest”.

      • J1984

        Micro-managing is a bad thing, not a good thing.

  • Paldo

    A few interesting points noted:
    1. The US are deploying the scare tactics to let many “allies” buy their weapons. They are not cheap though. The F35 is a scam as far as JP is concerned. JP paid a hefty sum in the kitty to develop the jetfighter but what have you got, only the basic version less any weapon systems. You want them, pay more and more. The F35 is JP’s backhole.
    2. No mention about JP’s budget but “very” high already per capita compare with India and China while the economy is still in the doldrum and national debt is ever rising and a little trigger can cause the total collapse. Besides, there are some “hidden” strategic reserves within JP-the crush barriers of the highways, the plutonium from the nuke power stations etc. all can be turned to weapons in no time.
    3. The India’s defense, among others, are always the subject of scandals. Greedy is the word. Todate India hasn’t got a sizeable heavy industry to support the arms manufacturing. All foreighn arms dealers are laughing home. The “free gift” of aircraft carrier from Russsia is now a “white elephant” and laughing stock of the world.
    4. About Europe, simply they have no MONEY.