The Small Arms Survey (SAS) released its annual Transfers and Transparency trade update for 2016, which reveals that the world’s top and the largest of the smaller arms exporters conducted trade to the tune of $5.8bn in 2013. This represents an increase of 17 percent in small arms trade on 2012, which came in at $5bn flat.
The United States alone, the world’s largest arms manufacturer and exporter, exported a record breaking $1.1bn worth of small arms in 2013. In a relatively distant second came in Italy, which exported $644m worth of small arms, followed by Germany with $557m worth of trade. These three states combined accounted for nearly 40 percent of exports in 2013. Significant increases in exports were also noticed in Israel, Croatia, Spain, and Switzerland, who all breached the $100m mark.
At the same time, while the US is the single largest exporter of small arms, it is also the largest importer. The United States accounted 42 percent of all global imports in 2013, worth some $2.5bn.
Additionally, the SAS report notes that major increases were registered in the value of small arms deliveries to top and major importers in the Middle East – an increase of 84 percent from $342m in 2012 to $630m in 2013.
To note, the United Arab Emirates became the world’s fourth largest small arms importer. The value of its imports rose from $71m in 2012 to $168m in 2013. Saudi Arabia became the world’s fifth largest importer, with an increase from $54m to $161m. Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman,and Qatar all imported at least $10 million worth of small arms in2013.