14 Apr 2015

Saudi Arabia soars in world defence expenditure tables

globeSummary: Saudi Arabia has increased its military spend by a massive 17% in 2014 according to recent research by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Saudi Arabia spent $80.8bn on defence and military in 2014, amounting to a 4.5% share of the world’s entire military expenditure.

Huge increase

The 17% increase is also the highest of any country in the top 15 military spenders in 2014 and now puts Saudi Arabia fourth in the world’s rankings of highest military expenditure, behind the USA ($610bn), China ($216bn) and Russia ($84.5bn).

The huge increase in Saudi Arabia’s spending is a reflection of both the continuing conflict and instability in the surrounding region, and of the revenues available to the Saudi government from the high price of oil enjoyed until late 2014 when the price plummeted across the world.

As a result of this oil price collapse, it is perhaps likely that the government may be unable to continue the current high expenditure levels throughout 2015.

World military expenditure

The research by SIPRI provides an in depth look at the current state of the world’s military expenditure in a time of uncertain budgets and austerity economics.

While budgets for defence in the United States and in Western Europe continue to fall moderately, budgets in Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East have seen large increases, with these ‘rest of the world’ countries in total increasing expenditure by 3.1% in 2014.

With budgets falling in the West but largely rising in the East, it is important for your business to explore which markets are growing and where the opportunities lie for your firm’s future growth success.

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