Israel arms exports increase in 2012
By Marina Malenic
Israel's military equipment exports for 2012 reached USD7 billion, according to preliminary estimates by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The final figures are not expected until March, but if they are accurate, this represents a 20% increase over 2011 numbers local media reports said on 10 January.
The country's defence exports have been increasing steadily over the past several years. The value of military hardware sold abroad was USD6.3 billion in 2008, rising to USD6.7 billion in 2009 and USD7.2 billion in 2010. The United States and Europe have long been the country's top customers for arms, followed by Southeast Asia and South America.
The MoD has said its goal is to reach USD10 billion worth of weapons exports per year. Officials have said they hope to achieve this goal by increasing investment and aid to small and medium-sized companies.
At the same time, the country's defence procurement numbers have stagnated. Israel went from spending USD1.88 billion on its military in 2009, to USD1.85 billion in 2010, USD1.79 billion in 2011 and USD1.88 billion in 2012.176 of 613 words
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