SEOUL, Dec.28 (Korea Bizwire) – Korea turned out to be the largest buyer of weapons in 2014. According to the annual report on the sales of weapons issued by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Korea was the largest importer last year, spending $7.8 billion on weapons. CRS is an organization under the American Library of Congress.
Among the weapons imported to Korea, $700 million were purchased from the USA. Among the weapons purchased from the US, were unmanned surveillance vehicles and cargo helicopters used for logistics.
The New York Times reported that South Korea is in a continuous state of tension from an unfinished war with their northern counterpart. The development of nuclear weapons and constant provocation by North Korea, resulted in South Korea importing weapons to stay prepared if anything were to ever happen between the two countries.
Iraq was the second largest buyer of weapons. They bought $7.3 billion worth of weapons to fill the void of military presence after the U.S. army withdrew their troops from the area.Brazil ranked in third, spending $6.5 billion on a Swedish aircraft.The gross sum in sales of weapons were $71.8 billion, showing a slight increase from the $70.1 billion in 2013.
America was, with no surprise, the largest exporter of weapons. With America holding more than 50 percent of the market shares. The total cost of exports was $36.2 billion, which is a 35 percent increase compared to the previous year which was $26.7 billion. Korea, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were the main contributers, out of the countries that boosted the sales of American weapons. Russia($10.2 billion), Sweden($5.5 billion), France($4.4 billion) and China($2.2 billion) followed.
The CRS prospected growth of weapon sales in the international market will be slow due to the currently depressed global economy. They also predicted that the competition among suppliers would be fiercer than ever. To secure sales, some manufacturers are practicing techniques such as counter trade, andco-production and assembly.
The CRS also predicted that despite the severe competition in the international weapons market, America will keep their upper hand in the market to come. A stark contrast in comparison to poor and developing countries.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)