French arms exports down 37 percent to 5.12 bn euros in 2010
French arms exports were down 37 percent to 5.12 billion euros ($7.08 billion) last year as the economic downturn hit global weapons purchases, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.
Deputy ministry spokesman General Philippe Ponties said France had nonetheless maintained its position as the fourth-largest global arms exporter.
French arms exports were worth 8.16 billion euros in 2009.
Ponties said the drop was "a bit depressive" but noted that last year's amount was still higher than in 2004 and 2005.
In April Swedish defence think-tank SIPRI said growth in global military spending had slowed to only 1.3 percent last year, hitting $1.63 trillion (1.14 trillion euros), as the world economic crisis hit defence budgets.
© 2011 AFP