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BELGRADE (Serbia), April 9 (SeeNews) - Serbia's defence industry exports reached $897 million (796 million euro) in 2018, backed by strong sales of firearms and ammunition, a government official said.
"The exports of the ten state-owned defence industry factories rose by 13.9%, whereas the total value of export permits, not only those of the ten state-owned companies, amounted to $897 million," Nenad Miloradovic, an advisor to the minister of infrastructure, said in a video file posted on the website of news agency Tanjug on Monday.
Exports of Serbia's defence industry totalled $570 million in 2017, defence minister Aleksandar Vulin said in May 2018.
In 2018, the largest number of permits was issued for exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, followed by the U.S., Miloradovic said. A large number of permits was also recorded for exports to Bulgaria, Romania, Belgium, Cyprus and Germany.
The new strategy of NATO to increase the defence spending of member states to 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) has intensified the market in Southeast Europe as some countries increased their budgets as much as fivefold, Miloradovic said.
The exports of Serbia's defence industry quadrupled between 2012 and 2017 as a result of reforms carried out by the government, Vulin said in May.
($ = 0.887345 euro)