The Asian arms trade, thanks to massive increases in military spending by nations including China, India, and North Korea in recent years, has experienced a major boom.
A new study has found just how expansive this new trade is and the ripple it is sending through global markets, reports Washington Times.
Despite the global economic downturn in 2008 and after, the global arms trade grew by $73.5 billion, the study finds. That’s a huge growth — a 30 percent increase.
Increased manufacture and exports of arms from China an increased demand from India and other Asian nations have been major driving forces behind the boom.
While the United States has claimed top ranking for military spending for well over the last dozen years, this may soon change.
As Asian military spending continues to ramp up an estimated 35 percent growth in the next decade, the US will be edged out of the top spending spot.
Asian arms markets are expected to be just over $500 billion by 2021, a major growth, while US military spending, already decreasing gradually, is expected to be at $472 billion by then.
The new results come from a study conducted by IHS Jane, a group that specializes in analyzing and monitoring global arms markets.
An analyst at IHS Jane, as Reuters reports, says this trend puts US arms manufacturers in a difficult situation: Remain in the US and face a lack of growth, or expand to Asian markets at the risk of putting their home nation at a military disadvantage?
China has lead the charge in Asia, expected to expand their defense spending by 67 percent in the next eight years.
This has made some of China’s neighbors, like Japan and South Korea, nervous and spurred them to expand their own defense programs in massive ways. Some have compared the competitive defense spending to that of the Cold War era.
With the massive growth in the Asian arms trade, it remains to see if this will put pressure on Western nations with declining military programs to feel a need to curb spending cuts to keep pace with their Asian rivals.
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