At $55.9-bn, India is now World’s 5th Largest Defence Spender

India, after having made a push in its spending, is now the world’s fifth largest defence spender for the year 2016.

India moved from 7th to 5th place after its largest annual military spending increase since 2009. China is second on the list, while Pakistan does not figure in the top 15 spenders.

The rankings were released on Monday morning (IST) by Swedish think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Titled ‘Trends in world Military Expenditure, 2016’, the report said India spent $55.9 billion on defence in 2016, which was 2.5 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). India also spent 3.3 per cent of global spending, which stood at $1,686 billion in 2016 or is estimated at $227 per person globally.

“After 13 consecutive years of increases (from 1998 to 2011), world military spending has continued to plateau—with only minor decreases between 2011 and 2014”, the SIPRI report said.

The US is the top most spender at $611 billion, followed by China at $215 billion, Russia at $69.2 billion and Saudi Arabia $63.7 billion

Notably, five of the top fifteen global spenders in 2016 are in Asia and Oceania: China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia. “China had by far the highest military spending in the region: an estimated $215 billion, or 48 per cent of regional spending. This amount is almost four times that of India’s total, which is the second largest in the region at $55.9 billion,” the report said.

Between the 2007 and 2016, China has seen the biggest growth in military spending, with an increase of 118 per cent, followed by Russia (87 per cent) and India (54 per cent).

Conversely, in the same period, Italy (–16 per cent), the UK (–12 per cent) and the United States (–4.8 per cent) were the only countries in the top 15 to see their military expenditure fall.

In 2016, total US military expenditure of $611 billion is over one-third (36 per cent) of world military expenditure. This is nearly three times the level of China’s spending.

US military grew by 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016, the first increase after five consecutive years of decline. Despite this slight growth, US military spending remains 20 per cent lower than its peak in 2010.

Source:-Tribune India

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