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Asia Pacific to overtake North America as highest regional defence spender, says Janes

Fast rates of growth in the Asia-Pacific region in the past 10 years mean that it will overtake North America as the highest regional defence spender by 2029, according to the latest data from the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence. 

SINGAPORE– Intelligence from Janes highlights that governments in the Asia-Pacific region allocated more than USD505 billion to defence in 2020 – a 4.3% increase in real terms. The trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence data anticipates that the Asia-Pacific region will overtake North America as the region with the highest defence spend in the world. 

“It is safe to say that the impact of the pandemic won’t jeopardise Asia’s status as the world’s second-largest regional defence market,” said Andrew MacDonald, Principal Analyst at Janes. “The region now accounts for almost 28% of total global spending, up from 20% a decade ago. It’s now forecast to spend as much as North America before the end of the decade.”

Janes notes that although 2020’s annual expansion of Asian budgets marked a slight slowdown from that of 2019, it remains slightly above the average for the past five years. 

“In 2021 we’re expecting a notable fall in this growth rate, to just over 3% year on year, as some of the delayed effects of Covid-19 are felt in the region’s fiscal environment,” MacDonald said. “From 2022 onwards we’re forecasting a relatively swift recovery back to normal rates of around 4% per year.”

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