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India is the world’s largest arms importer and the United States the largest arms exporter, showed figures of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published Monday.

“India received 9 percent of the total volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports,” the SIPRI report said.

Suppliers, including the Eurofighter consortium (comprised of Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain), France, Russia, Sweden and the United States,are competing for combat aircraft orders in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America, according to Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program.

European producers, in particular, are seeking export opportunities and are benefiting from government assistance with export promotion activities.

“This can be seen with government support for British, French, Italian and Swedish companies in the competition for billion-dollar orders from Brazil for combat aircraft and warships,” said Mark Bromley, European expert of the program.

During 2006-2010, arms imports were particularly high in the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt and Algeria. Based on existing orders and known procurement plans, Saudi Arabian and Moroccan arms imports are expected to rise significantly in the coming years, SIPRI said.

The average volume of worldwide arms transfers in 2006-2010 was 24 percent higher than in 2001-2005. Asia and Oceania remained the major recipient regions in 2006-2010, followed by Europe.

The United States remains the world’s largest exporter of military equipment, accounting for 30 percent of global arms exports in 2006-2010. During this period, 44 percent of U.S. deliveries went to Asia and Oceania, 28 percent to the Middle East and 19 percent to Europe.

Established in 1966, SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

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