Arms sales around the world have risen by almost 8% in the past five years, with the United States holding tight to its position as the leading arms exporter. The Israeli arms industry ranks eighth among exporters, with a market share of more than 3% of the world's total exports.According to the annual report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks arms inspections worldwide, the total number of global arms transactions between 2014 and 2018 was 7.8% higher than the previous five years and 23% higher than the number sold between 2004 to 2008. The five largest exporters in the past five years have been the US, Russia, France, Germany and China, which together accounted for 75% of total weapons exports.The report showed that the Israeli arms industry has kept its international standing and ranks as eighth among the 67 exporting countries with a market share of 3.1%, a 60% increase from 2009 to 2013. Israel's leading customers are India with 46% of its deals, Azerbaijan with 17% and Vietnam with 8.5%.At the same time, Israel ranks 15th out of the world's 40 leading arms importers with 2% of the total arms trade over the past five years, up 354% from the previous five years. Some 64% of Israel's arms deals were with the US, with 27% of the transactions being with Germany and another 8.9% with Italy. Saudi Arabia is the world's leading arms importer with a market share of 12%, a sharp rise of 192%.According to the data, the United States recorded a 29% increase in arms deals, mainly due to increased demand from countries in the Middle East, and its market share rose from 30% to 36%, while Russia saw a 17% decrease, because of less imports from two major customers - India and Venezuela. Now its market share stands at 21% compared to 27% five years prior."The United States has further strengthened its position as the world's leading arms supplier," said Dr. Ode Fluernet, director of the arms transfers database at the research institute. "The US has exported weapons to at least 98 countries in the last five years. These shipments usually included advanced weapons such as fighter planes, short-range cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and a large number of guided bombs."Translated by Yvette J. Deane.