Despite the continuing global economic recession in 2009, the total arms sales of the world’s largest arms-producing companies increased by $14.8 billion from 2008 to reach $401 billion, a real increase of 8 per cent, according to new data on international arms production released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Of the SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing companies, 78 are based in the United States and Western Europe. These companies generated $368 billion in total arms sales, which is 91.7 per cent of the total arms sales of the SIPRI Top 100 arms producers in 2009.
The USA and Western Europe Armament the World
45 of the SIPRI Top 100 are based in the USA. These companies generated just under $247 billion in total arms sales, which is 61.5 per cent of the SIPRI Top 100 arms sales. 33 of the SIPRI Top 100 are based in nine Western European countries (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK). These companies generated $120 billion in total arms sales, which is 30 per cent of the SIPRI Top 100 arms sales.
Norway is on the Top in Europe
Norway is the European leader in arms imports per capita according to the figures of the study. The country pays 40 times more money per cpaita on military equipment than the United States.
Last year, Norway imported military equipment for around four billion NOK. Norway was thus above the UK and peaks for the first time the import statistics in Europe.
Norway has previously been among Europe’s leading arms exporting countries. Especially from 2006 to 2011 it climbed from 19 to 16 place among the world’s weapons importers in terms of absolute numbers.
SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. SIPRI is named as one of the world’s leading think tanks in the international “Think Tank Index”. Based in Stockholm, SIPRI also has presences in Beijing and Washington, DC.