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Switzerland sees defence sales boom

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13:19 CET+01:00

Switzerland boosted its exports of military equipment, mainly training aircraft and air-defence systems, by 36 percent last year from the 2010 level, official data showed on Tuesday.

The value of the exports totalled 872.7 million francs ($973 million dollars).

A big factor behind the increase was the export of unarmed military training aircraft to the United Arab Emirates amounting to 258.1 million Swiss francs, the Swiss Department of Economic Affairs said in a statement.

Switzerland also delivered wheeled armoured vehicles to Germany and Belgium as well as air-defence systems to Germany.

Of the total, 56.8 of exports (2010: 61.5 percent) went to Europe; 5.3 percent (8.1 percent) to the Americas; 36.5 percent (29.2 percent) to Asia, 0.7 percent (0.4 percent) to  Africa and 0.7 percent (0.8 percent) to Australia.

Regarding "events related to the Arab Spring", Switzerland said it had limited export licences for military equipment to North Africa and countries in the Middle East region.

"The deliveries of authorised war materials relate mostly to air defense systems, which are not suitable for use against civilians," the department said.

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