Author Topic: Vietnam's Military Modernization  (Read 426 times)

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Vietnam's Military Modernization
« on: July 06, 2018, 11:17:33 PM »
Vietnam's Military Modernization

After extraordinary growth in military hardware, Vietnam is consolidating its new gains.
By Zachary Abuza and Nguyen Nhat Anh
October 28, 2016
 
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Vietnamís publicly released defense budget (its official budget is a state secret) has grown from $1.3 billion in 2006 to $4.6 billion in 2015, a 258 percent increase. In local currency, the budget increased from VND 20.5 trillion in 2006 to nearly VND 100 trillion in 2015, a 381 percent increase, but reflective of the dongís decline in value. In 2015, according to SIPRI, Vietnamís defense expenditures were the fourth largest in Southeast Asia, behind only Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand; all wealthier or significantly larger economies. It was the first year that Vietnamís spending surpassed Malaysiaís. The defense budget is an estimated $5 billion in 2016, and it is expected to grow to $6 billion by 2020. This, however, is clearly an underestimation and does not include portions of the budget for R&D that may be in other ministerial lines, or from revenue generated from defense-owned industries, especially VietTel, the largest internet and cell phone provider in the country.

In terms of share of government spending in 2015, Vietnamís defense spending was 8.3 percent, the third highest share in ASEAN after Singapore (16 percent) and Myanmar (13.3 percent), though just below the ASEAN average. Its lowest rate of spending in the decade from 2006-2015 was in 2013 at only 7.1 percent of government spending. Over the decade, it has averaged 7.67 percent.

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In the period of 2011 to 2015, Vietnam was the 8th largest importer of weaponry in the world, a 699 percent increase from 2006-2010, when it was the 43rd largest. Vietnam accounted for over a third of total ASEAN arms imports in 2015.

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