Bangladesh 11th military spender in Asia, Oceania

Shahidul Islam Chowdhury | Published: 23:40, May 11,2021 | Updated: 23:57, May 11,2021


Bangladesh ranked 11th in military spending among the top 15 nations in the Asia and Oceania region in 2020, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The military spending in Asia and Oceania totalled $528 billion in 2020 — 2.5 per cent higher than in 2019 and 47 per cent higher than in 2011, SIPRI said with reference to a research report the organisation released on April 26.

China, spending $262 billion in 2020, was on top of the list comprising the 15 Asia and Oceania countries, followed by India that spent $72.9 billion, Japan $49.1 billion, South Korea $45.7 billion, Australia $27.5 billion, Taiwan $12.2 billion, Singapore $10.9 billion, Pakistan $10.4 billion, Indonesia $9.4 billion, Thailand $7.3 billion, Bangladesh $4.6 billion, Malaysia $3.8 billion, Philippines $3.7 billion, New Zealand $3.0 billion and Myanmar $2.4 billion, according to a SIPRI info-graph presented in the tweet.

It shows that Bangladesh’s military spending was estimated about 2.8 per cent less than that of the previous year.

‘It is not clear whether these amounts indicate only the military procurement or the total expenditure of the countries under consideration,’ security analyst and president of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies ANM Muniruzzaman told New Age

The amounts should not be considered ‘big’ if they reflect all-inclusive defence expenses of the countries, he said.

Muniruzzaman, a retired major general of the Bangladesh Army, however, expressed his amazement about the amounts showed as the military spending of Malaysia, the Philippines and Myanmar.

‘They maintain bigger armed forces than Bangladesh,’ he pointed out.

The amount showed for Myanmar does not match its overt defence expenditure, he said, adding, ‘Myanmar might have received some kind of grants for defence.’ 

Bangladesh is the 45th country in the Global Firepower Index 2020, a ranking of the total available active military manpower by a country, while Myanmar 38th, Malaysia 44th and Philippines 48th.  

The five biggest military spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62 per cent of the global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom.

The military spending by China grew for the 26th consecutive year, according to the SIPRI report.     

Total global military expenditure rose to $1,981 billion last year, an increase by 2.6 per cent in real terms from 2019, it added.  

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