21 Apr 2014

Military spending rises in emerging markets

Summary: Global military spending outside the USA increased by 1.8% in 2013, highlighting the wealth of opportunities on offer in emerging markets.

The 1.8% increase is despite an overall worldwide fall in expenditure in real terms to $1.75 trillion, a fall of 1.9% according to figures released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). This shows the sheer size of western spending, particularly the US, and highlights how important non-US markets can be to the overall military economy.

The fall in US spending in 2013, by 7.8%, is the result of the end of the war in Iraq, the beginning of the drawdown from Afghanistan and the effects of automatic budget cuts passed by the US Congress in 2011. Meanwhile, austerity policies continued to determine trends in Western and Central Europe and in other Western countries.

 New global defence powers

The next three highest spenders – China, Russia and Saudi Arabia – all recorded substantial increases, with Saudi Arabia leapfrogging the UK, Japan and France to become the world’s fourth largest military spender. China, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among the 23 countries that have more than doubled their military expenditure since 2004.

This announcement comes shortly after a new report found that Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey are set to become the most attractive defence markets in the coming years, with defence and related spending increasing from US$40.6 billion to US$61.1 billion by 2019 in these economies.

The report from Strategic Defence Intelligence (SDI) – Future of the MINT Defense Industry 2019: Market Analysis, Size, Shares, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2019 – states that the economies of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (also known as MINT countries) are poised to become the next centre of attention with respect to international trade and commerce.

Emerging defence opportunities

As new markets begin to open up for defence suppliers across the world, it is important to understand where the opportunities lie not just at the moment, but in the coming years.

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