DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has dislodged India to become the world’s top defence importer in 2014, while China inched closer to its Asian neighbour at third position, research company IHS said today in a report. 

US continues to be the top defence exporter followed by Russia, France and UK, the ranking unchanged from 2013, the information agency said in its annual defence report. 

“In 2014, Saudi Arabia replaced India as the largest importer of defence equipment worldwide and took the top spot as the number one trading partner for the US,” the IHS report added.

Similarly, China jumped from the world’s fifth to the third largest defence importer, the report added. 
It also pointed that China was the largest recipient of defence equipments from Russia in 2014 valued at $2.3 billion followed by India at $1.7 billion, and Venezuela and Vietnam each at $1 billion.

In 2014, global defence trade increased for the sixth straight year to $64.4 billion, up from $56.8 billion, IHS added.

“This record figure has been driven by unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific,” IHS senior defence analyst Ben Moores said. 

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