Bulgaria's Weapons Production, Exports Rose 60% in 2 Years
Defense-related equipment production and exports have increased by over sixty percent over two years, Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski has said.
Key factors for this include "a more active and flexible marketing policy" as well as a widened target of potential buyers. Quality of the products and the appearance of new competitive ones, according to Standart.
In July, data on 2015 exports suggested Bulgaria sold 59% more arms abroad in that year compared to 2014, most of the output being sold to the Middle East.
It is the Middle East (mainly Iraq and Saudi Arabia) where most of the output is sold, with the region accounting for EUR 610 M worth of permits and EUR 282 M worth of exports.
A breakdown shows Iraq bought EUR 159.6 M in arms and munitions in 2015 compared to EUR 80.1 M for 2014. Saudi Arabia imported EUR 92.4 M in arms last year, a modest increase compared to the previous one's EUR 85.5 M.
A BIRN investigation published in the same month showed eight countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, have approve the shipment of weapons and ammunitions worth at least EUR 1.2 B to the Middle East and Turkey since 2012. An earlier article published by the network, citing official documents, revealed exports had peaked in 2014, mainly due to Middle Eastern exports.
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