South-East Asia's spending on defence

Posted in the Singapore Forum


Singapore, Singapore

#1 Apr 17, 2013
Shopping spree

Countries are buying lots of weapons, but does it count as an arms race?

THE tiny island-state of Singapore, home to just over 5m people, has a well-deserved reputation as a quiet, clean-cut hub for banking, lawyering and golf. Yet beyond the fairways it bristles with weapons.

According to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Singapore is now the fifth-largest arms importer in the world, bested only by some obvious behemoths—China, India and Pakistan—plus South Korea. Singapore accounts for 4% of the world's total spending on arms imports. Its defence spending per head beats every country bar America, Israel and Kuwait. This year $9.7 billion, or 24% of the national budget, will go on defence.

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