January 28, 2018
By Kevin Nielsen National Online Journalist, Breaking News Global News
Visiting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (2nd L) holds a photo session with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) in front of an Australian-made Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle while visiting the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces’ Narashino camp in Funabashi, Chiba on January 18, 2018. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
The Australian government reportedly unveiled an ambitious plan to become one of the world’s 10 largest arms exporters.
The Australian strategy will look to several countries, including Canada, as priority targets to achieve significant sales, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The other nations are the U.S., the U.K. and New Zealand.
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The Australian government will also seek to boost sales to Europe and to Asia and the Middle East, where countries are rapidly building up arms caches.
As part of the plan, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will announce a $3.8 billion fund for Australian arms companies looking to increase exports.
“It will give Australian defence companies the support they need to grow, invest and deliver defence capability,” Turnbull told The Australian.
The government will also spend $20 million a year to support the new strategy.
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Among other moves, the government will create an Australian Defence Export Advocate posting to support the Australian Defence Export Office, which will provide the arms industry with the constant high-level advocacy needed to promote weapons manufacturers overseas, the Guardian reports.
Australia is currently the world’s 20th largest arms exporter, trailing just behind Norway, South African and Belarus, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The world’s two largest exporters, the U.S. and Russia, account for more than 50 per cent of the world’s sales with the Americans dealing 33 per cent of the world’s weapons, SIPRI reports.
Canada is the 15th largest weapons exporter in the world, according to SIPRI.