A government report showed that exports of German arms and military equipment fell by a quarter in 2020.
According to a report released on Wednesday, the government issued 5.82 billion euros worth of export licenses for weapons and military equipment in 2020, a record increase of 27% from 2019.
The ministry stated that the ministry has released the data and the government is fulfilling its obligation to report more transparently on the operation of the domestic arms industry and the Bundeswehr’s arms shipments abroad.
The report shows that Hungary has maintained its position as the largest buyer. According to the report, the value of German arms exports to the country in 2020 will reach 838.4 million euros.
It is followed by Egypt (763.8 million euros), Israel (582.4 million euros) and the United States (510 million euros). Due to the country’s human rights situation and its involvement in the war in Yemen, exports to Egypt are particularly controversial.
The Ministry of Economy pointed out that 99% of the goods approved to be delivered to Egypt are destined for the navy, including submarines and patrol boats. A spokeswoman said these products are not suitable for internal suppression or for use in the Yemeni conflict.
“An effective navy is the legitimate interest of Egypt’s defense policy and international coastal and maritime security,” she said.
Government arms export licenses declined between 2016 and 2018, and then rose sharply in 2019. dpa explained that since the value of orders in extreme cases can reach hundreds of millions or even billions, statistical data will fluctuate strongly.
Last year, half of Germany’s weapons and military equipment were exported to non-EU or NATO countries, such as Japan and Australia. In 2019, their share of exports was 44.1%.
The dpa agency pointed out that these exports are particularly controversial because some of the countries in the group are involved in armed conflicts or human rights violations.