France: arms exports down to 8.3 billion euros in 2019

A Mirage 2000D, here above the Sahel. RFI / Olivier Fourt

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The Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, presented to Parliament a report detailing for 2019 the arms exports from France. Exports reorienting themselves to Europe.


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The 2019 balance sheet of order intake amounts to 8.3 billion euros and is in the average observed over the past ten years,  " notes the official report submitted to Parliament and published on Tuesday. These same arms exports were 9.1 billion euros last year.

The year 2019 was marked by some emblematic contracts with Belgium for their mine warfare contar, Hungary, for the purchase of 36 helicopters or Spain, concerning telecommunications satellites.

Significantly, "  in 2019, European Union customers represented 42% of orders taken from our manufacturers, and almost 45% including other European countries, outside the EU  ", comments the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly when opening the report.

Trend reversal

European orders represented 25% the previous year. We think [this change]  is structural, we are determined to make it happen  ," said the Ministry of the Armed Forces. The large share of European orders constitutes a trend reversal after a decade of French exports mainly to third countries: over the period 2010-2019, the five main customers of France are India, Qatar, Arabia Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Belgium is sixth.

The Near and Middle East region, France's leading export region last year with almost half of the total order intake, now ranks second behind Europe, with 2.15 billion euros orders in 2019, including 1.5 billion for the United Arab Emirates alone.

France is the third largest arms exporting country in the world after the United States and Russia, and is regularly questioned, notably by NGOs and parliamentarians, for its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. , involved in a conflict in Yemen which has left tens of thousands of people dead since 2015, including many civilians.

( With AFP )

►Read also: France: arms exports up 30% in 2018

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