Finland’s weapons exports on the rise

Finnish arms exports to other countries - for both civilian and military use - top more than €205 million in 2018.

Map detail showing Finnish arms exports 2018 / Credit: SaferGlobe

Finland exported weapons and military products worth €205 million to other countries during 2018. That’s up slightly from the year before but well below a bumper year for arms exports in 2013 and 2014 when sales hit almost €300 million.

That’s according to the latest figures published by the SaferGlobe think tank looking at military and non-military sales.

Around €128 million of the total amount comes from the sale of military equipment; while another €77 million comes from the export of civilian weapons mainly for hunting and sport shooting purposes.

Which countries have the most weapons sales? 

In terms of overall arms exports in 2018, the number one country in 2018 was Poland, with sales worth almost €25.5 million – mostly military.

Next comes the USA with close to €24.5 million sales but most of that is for civilian arms; while Sweden is third on the list at €21.6 million.

When it comes to military sales alone, the top countries for Finnish exports are Poland, Turkey, Sweden, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Arms sales blocked to some countries

In autumn 2018 the Finnish government reversed a previous police and decided to stop any future export licenses for military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This year, the government decided to prohibit any new arms sales to Turkey after its invasion of Kurdish areas in northern Syria. In 2018 military arms sales to Turkey were worth almost €17 million.

But banning new military sales doesn’t necessarily stop the flow of weapons or vehicles to those countries.

“In the Turkey case, Finland has decided not to grant new licenses but the old licenses that have ben granted earlier are still in force so companies can export using them explains Kari Paasonen from SaferGlobe who compiled the new report.

“It’s also the case with UAE and Saudi Arabia that Finland has not cancelled those licences which were granted before the decision to not granting new licences to these countries. In other words, companies can still continue to export to UAE and Saudi Arabia if they have those old licenses valid” he tells News Now Finland.


Graphic showing amounts of Finnish arms exports 2018 / Credit: SaferGlobe

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