US world leader in arms sales, Saudi Arabia no 1 buyer
LONDON (AFP) Oct 15, 2003
The United States sells more arms than any other country, and Saudi Arabia leads the world for buying arms among developing countries, a report from the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) said Wednesday.

The United States holds a 40.3 percent market share in arms sales, raking in 10.241 billion dollars (8.8 billion euros) from sales in 2002, according to the IISS annual report "The Military Balance 2003-2004", on arms around the world.

Saudi Arabia spent an estimated 5.2 billion dollars in 2002 buying weapons, despite having reduced arms purchases from the 1995-1998 period, the report said.

Britain, the world's second-largest arms seller, sold 4.7 billion dollars worth of weapons in 2002 and has a 18.5 percent market share. It is followed by Russia (3.1 billion dollars and 12.2 percent market share) and Francebillion dollars and 7.1 percent market share).

China comes fifth down the list selling 800 million dollars worth of arms in 2002 (3.1 percent market share), followed by Ukraine at 600 million dollars (the report did not publish the country's market share), Germany at 500 million dollars (two percent market share) and Italy at 400 million dollars (1.6 percent market share).

Israel, the world's ninth-largest arms seller, brought in 300 million dollars from sales in 2002, followed by Brazil at 200 million dollars.

Following on the heals of Saudi Arabia, Egypt was the second-largest buyer of arms among developing countries, spending 2.1 billion dollars in 2002.

Kuwait was in third at 1.3 billion dollars, followed by China (1.2 billion dollars) and Taiwan (1.1 billion dollars).

The Arab Emirates and India each spent 900 million dollars on weapons.

Israel spent 700 million dollars on weapons purchases abroad in 2002, followed by South Korea and Pakistan which each spent 600 million dollars. Saudi Arabia has recently slowed its weapons purchases, buying 26.6 billion dollars in arms in 1999-2002 compared to 38 billion in

Israel has stepped up is purchases, buying 4.3 billion dollars in weapons in 1999-2002, compared to 2.9 billion in 1995-1998.