1. ‘Make in India’ fails while ‘Make in China’ works! India top importer of arms, says report

‘Make in India’ fails while ‘Make in China’ works! India top importer of arms, says report

India still continues be the world's largest arms importer even as China ups capability to make advanced weapons to be part of the top 5 largest exporters in the world.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: March 13, 2018 5:36 PM
India tops arms importers list says SIPRI While India tops the list of arms importers, China makes it to the top 5 exporters in the world.

India continues to be the topmost importer of arms in the world accounting for 12% of the total import share of the world between 2013-17, a Stockholm-based think tank report says. India’s overall imports increased by 24% between 2008-12 and 2013-17 and Russia accounted for 62% of India’s arms imports in 2013-17, reported Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India is followed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and China, which form the top 5 importers of arms in the world. But, China also forms part of the top 5 largest exporters in the world with USA, Russia, France and Germany. The report disturbingly notes that China is becoming “increasingly capable of producing its own advanced weapons”. Despite being among the top 5 arms importers, China’s arms imports actually decreased by 19% between 2008–12 and 2013–17.

The report also suggested that India was diversifying the source of its arsenal with increasing strategic partnership with the USA. The USA has also been supplying India with advanced military equipment like Long range maritime patrol aircraft, strategic transport aircraft etc. Israel was also one among the exporters whose share to India has increased by 285%, said the SIPRI report.

Global share of major arms imports by the 10 largest importers in 2013-17. (Source: Trends in International Arms Transfers 2017, SIPRI)

China is the top supplier of arms to Pakistan, with the latter’s import of arms amounting to 45% of its total share. According to the report the trend in arms imports in South Asia is still dominated by Indo-Pak tensions. Both countries were among the top 10 arms importers in 2013–17, the report notes. However, the think tank adds that, “Despite its continuing tensions with India and ongoing internal conflicts”, Pakistan’s imports fell by 36% between 2008-12 and 2013-17, with the country accounting for 2.8% of global arms imports in the last five years”. SIPRI report also observes USA’s growing interest in Asia analysing its policy reforms to compete with China. While the share of the USA’s exports to India has exponentially grown by 557%, its share to Pakistan has been on a decline.

Global share of major arms exports by the 10 largest exporters in 2013-17. (Source: Trends in International Arms Trends 2017, SIPRI)

The global tender for more fighter jets might be on cards and assuring words by Defence Minister during at the Ammo India 2018 event might have boosted the morale of the ‘Make in India’ initiative but, India still finds itself grappling to fully indigenise defence industry. MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre has himself told the Lok Sabha that the country has just attracted FDI of amount $0.18 million in the defence industry sector from April 2014 to December 2017. The dismal figure and the fact that India continues to be the largest importer of arms in the world should be a definite wake-up call for the government.

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  1. Rahul Kardam
    Mar 15, 2018 at 7:35 pm
    Foreign media shall always portray Make In India to be a failure because it serves their masters to milk the cash cow , that is the Indian arms procurement. But we as Indians need to realise that we have come a long way. And we are on the right track .
    1. Rahul Kardam
      Mar 15, 2018 at 7:31 pm
      Make in India is not a failure IMHO. The media is aflush with all the negatives associated with Indian Defence Industry. Let me point to the positive ones. 1) We never had a gun like Bofors for past 30 or so years. But now we have two options ATAGS and Dhanush. For all the talk of fancy weapons, the plain old simple artillery is the most important weapon for Indian army in Kashmir. We managed to build it indigenous. 2) Swati Weapon Locating Radar - Denied by USA India built one its own. 3) NAVIC - India's own GPS .Denied by USA during Kargil War India built one its own. 4) Agni, Nirbhay, Shaurya , Sagarika and all the other complex missiles India builds on its own. 5) Arjun MBT (for defense) is excellent. In short if there is a war, we have enough indigenous capability to be defensive and we do not need to be dependant on other nations. Maybe we lack offensive air power (high end indegenous fighter planes) . But we have Rustom-2 to carry out air strikes nearing our borders.
      1. naveeen kumar r
        Mar 14, 2018 at 9:38 am
        Does financial express belong to Chinese persons directly or indirectly.. i am watching news in this for couple of months where it states "xinhua stated" for all international afairs. i think even your or your news gathering is not from indian sources or your reliable sources. the caption which you put MAKE INDIA FAILS, MAKE IN INDIA WINS is absolutely wrong since chineese communists murderers are illegally stealing the data of research in all forms from research ins utes all over the world.. i think make in china should be replaced by R D Stole by China or Stolen by The Pirates of Chinese Communists.
        1. Thiru Ravi
          Mar 14, 2018 at 1:17 am
          Make in India Make in China can't be compared as Apple to Orange! People in strategic circle knows whats happening in India, with India and the quantum of changes occurring in India is strategically in diffe level which will be visible only after few years. Make in China is will be obsolete in few years and China will be a pariah state by then. With Xi as indefinite president China has shown its real colour that it will never change from the authoritarianism and expansionism. China has never integrated with the world in real sense as it was trying to takeover all the best companies all over the world but never letting any other country's company to function freely in China or take over any important company in China. Its simply a manipulative and state controlled authoritarian economy trying to dominate the free world. If USdon't act immediately it would be difficult but not impossible to reverse the advantages of this authoritarian Chinese regime. First throw out China from WTO.
          1. jungleheat with ashutosh
            Mar 13, 2018 at 6:13 pm
            India and China cannot be compared.Their president is now for his whole life and is serving in office since time immemorial, India has started efforts to indigenize, just a couple of years ago as far as arms industry is concerned.These two cases are totally incomparable.But efforts will result in success as we see in missile production and research related to cryogenic engines for rockets.
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