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SIPRI report 2023: India world’s largest arms importer

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SIPRI report 2023

India is still the world’s largest importer of military equipment, despite an 11% decline in arms purchases between 2013–17 and 2018–22, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). The report is released at a time when India has intensified its efforts to become self-reliant in the defence manufacturing sector. This year’s defence budget included about Rs 1 lakh crore for domestic purchases, compared to Rs 84,598 crore, Rs 70,221 crore, and Rs 51,000 crore in the three years prior.

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SIPRI report 2023: Overview of the news

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  • According to data published by the think tank that tracks weapons imports over a five-year period, India had the biggest percentage of the world’s arms imports in the past five years at 11%, followed by Saudi Arabia (9.6%), Qatar (6.4%), Australia (4.7%), and China (4.7%).
  • The most recent report supports the findings of the Sipri report from last year. India remained still the world’s top importer of weaponry in 2022, despite a 21% decline in imports between 2012–16 and 2017–21, according to the report. A cumbersome procurement process and efforts to replace imports with local products, according to the latest research, were among the causes of the drop in India’s imports.
  • Over the last four to five years, India has implemented a variety of steps to increase defence self-reliance. Among them are setting up a separate budget to purchase military equipment made in-country, increasing foreign direct investment from 49% to 74%, and notifying foreign governments of the hundreds of weapons and systems that will be produced domestically over the next five to six years but cannot be imported.

SIPRI report 2023: Globally

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  • In the past five years, the US exported 40% of all military goods worldwide, followed by Russia (16%), France (11%), China (5.2%), and Germany (4.2%), according to new Sipri data. From 2013–17 and 2018–22, American armament exports increased 14% while those of Russia decreased 31%. India imported 37% fewer goods from Russia.
  • According to Sipri, Ukraine was the 14th largest importer of major weaponry in 2018–2022 and the third largest in 2022.
  • According to the research, France’s arms exports increased by 44% between 2013 and 2018 and received 30% of them from India over the previous five years, surpassing the US to become India’s second-largest arms supplier after Russia.

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