Thursday, October 7, 2010

France Arms export orders worth 8.16 Billion euros

Paris - France booked 2009 arms export orders worth 8.16 billion euros ($11.31 billion), a 22 percent rise over the previous year, showing a climb out of the lows hit in the middle of the last decade, Defense Ministry spokesman Laurent Teisseire said.

In 2008, France reported orders worth 6.58 billion euros; in 2007, 5.5 billion euros.
A second year of improvement in export performance reversed the "very negative slope" hit in the middle of the last decade when foreign sales hit a low of just over 3 billion euros, he said.With the latest figures, France held its rank as the fourth-largest arms exporter with a 7.2 percent share of the world market, and better reflected the country's industrial capacity, Teisseire told a press conference in a joint presentation with the Foreign Ministry of the government's annual report to parliament on weapon exports.

Brazil emerged as France's biggest export customer last year, thanks to its purchase of four Scorpene-type diesel-electric submarines and a partnership deal estimated at 6.7 billion euros, according to industry sources.
The Brazilian sale pushed South America's share of French arms exports to 24.9 percent, just under the Middle East's 25.7 percent share.
Other leading export clients were Saudi Arabia, which bought the second tranche of the A330 multirole tanker and transport aircraft, and the United Arab Emirates, Teisseire said. The Saudi order for the tanker jet had already appeared in the 2008 report.
The government's objective is to have an equal balance of orders from national programs and export contracts, giving visibility to industry.
France has written into the 2009-14 military budget law assumptions of export sales, but the absence of foreign contracts for the Rafale fighter has meant the government has to inject 800 million euros over the next three years to maintain a minimum production rate of 11 aircraft a year at Dassault.
On the basis of deliveries in 2004-08, the United States was the world's biggest exporter with a 52.4 percent share, followed by Britain with 13.4 percent, Russia 8.4 percent, France, and Israel at 5.3 percent. The global market was worth 63.7 billion euros, the report said, based on official figures and foreign parliamentary records. South Korea was among new export actors.
In his remarks, Teisseire paid tribute to the scholarly analysis of arms export shown by the late defense specialist, Jean-Paul Hébert, whose detailed examination of figures showed a long-term appreciation of the subject.
In the September 2009 edition of Débat Stratégique, a strategic studies journal, Hébert wrote that French arms sales and deliveries had fallen by 45 percent, in 2008 prices, over the last 30 years.
In 1981-90, annual orders averaged 9.19 billion euros; in 1991-2000, 6.69 billion; and in 2001-08, 5.19 billion. Deliveries shrank as well, averaging 9.25 billion euros in 1981-90, 4.9 billion in 1991-2000 and 4.67 billion in 2001-'08, Hebert's article said.
The Middle East's share of exports fell by 70 percent over the 30 years, while sales to the rest of the world remained stable, Hébert said.
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