Surge in Flemish arms exports

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Flanders exported minesweepers to Pakistan in 2007

3 January 2008 - There has been yet another surge in Flemish arms exports. The financial daily De Tijd reported on Wednesday that 170 arms export licences had been issued by the end of November.

In all the arms exports are worth over 200 million dollars.

Other EU states, the United States and Switzerland are our most important customers. Flemish Foreign Trade Minister Patricia Ceysens (Flemish liberal) is upbeat.

She says that the figures show that Flemish arms exports have risen again.

However, the number of applications for an arms export licence that were refused has also risen.

Ms Ceysens attributes the rise to the global economic situation.

She notes that Flemish exports have increased all-round and that the arms industry is benefiting from the general trend.

Questioned about arms sales to Pakistan Ms Ceysens said that the arms had been supplied before the present conflict.

She added that the arms deal had been a lawful one.

It involved the sale of minesweepers.


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