According to the latest data released by Jane’s Defence Weekly on 26, in 2020, global defense spending reached US $1 trillion and 930 billion, an increase of 1.9% over 2019 and a steady increase for 7 consecutive years without being affected by COVID-19.
In terms of percentage, Europe’s military spending will grow the fastest in 2020, 5.6% higher than the previous year. In dollar terms, the Asia Pacific region has contributed a similar growth rate. However, Jane’s chief analyst MacDonald believes that “all regions except Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America are likely to cut defense spending in 2021, and the growth rate will drop to the lowest level since 2013, but we don’t think there will be an overall contraction.” In Macdonald’s view, the most serious consequence of COVID-19 may be manifested in 2022, when the government may start spending restrictions. However, global defense spending is expected to maintain a positive growth in 2022, which is largely driven by the strong expansion of Asia. By 2030, global defense spending may reach $2.23 trillion.
At the same time, while the epidemic will almost certainly force the annual growth of global defense spending to slow down, it is unlikely to undermine the ongoing long-term strategic shift in regional spending patterns. “In 2010, Asia accounted for a little more than 20% of global defense spending, but by 2028, we expect that to grow to 35%, surpassing North America and becoming the region with the most defense spending in the world,” McDonald said.