Brunei defence spending per capita among highest in region
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI has the second highest per capita defence spending in ASEAN after Singapore, according to figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Based on 2015 data from SIPRI, the Brunei government spent US$1,012 ($1,420) per person from an overall defence budget of US$460 million, representing 8.2 per cent of total government spending or 3.7 per cent of GDP.
According to the global security think tank, per capita defence spending in Brunei has grown by 46 per cent over the past 10 years, from US$692 in 2005 to US$1,012 in 2015.
ASEAN’s biggest defence spender, Singapore, laid out US$1,705 per person from an overall defence budget of US$10.2 billion, representing 16 per cent of the government’s expenditure in 2015.
By comparison, Singapore and Brunei – which are the two smallest Southeast Asian countries in terms of population – significantly dwarf their fellow ASEAN members in per capita defence spending.
The third-highest ranking country in the region was Malaysia, which spent roughly US$146 per capita, followed by Thailand at US$83 per capita, and Vietnam at US$49 per capita.
ASEAN’s largest country, Indonesia, with a population of 250 million people, came in eighth, spending US$29 per capita.
In terms of total defence expenditure in ASEAN, Singapore still came in first, comprising 25 per cent of all ASEAN military spending, followed by Indonesia (20 per cent), and Thailand (15 per cent). Brunei represented just one per cent of overall defence spending in ASEAN.
According to SIPRI, the Asia-Pacific is seeing an upward trend in defence expenditure and weapons trade, with the region representing 46 per cent of all global arms imports.
Vietnam and Singapore were among the top 20 arms importers in the world from 2011 to 2015, ranking eighth and thirteenth respectively.
Global military expenditure totaled almost US$1.7 trillion in 2015, about 2.3 per cent of the world’s total GDP.
The Sweden-based SIPRI is dedicated to research into conflict, arms control and disarmament, and maintains comprehensive data on military expenditure worldwide. It is consistently ranked among the most influential think tanks globally, and has a presence in Stockholm and Beijing.
The Brunei Times