German President Joachim Gauck, second from left, speaks with a German military officer, alongside his partner Daniela Schadt, left, as they visit German soldiers at a Patriot missile defense unit position April 27 in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, near the Turkey-Syria border. (AFP)
BERLIN — German arms exports rose by 23 percent in 2013, driven by demand for military goods in the Middle East and Asia, the Economy Ministry said Wednesday.
The ministry calculated that the value of export licenses for weapons, tanks and other military goods totaled €5.8 billion euros ($7.9 billion) in 2013, up from €4.7 billion a year earlier.
A year earlier, sales had fallen by 13 percent.
But the export licenses are not necessarily the same as the weapons and equipment actually exported, because not all licenses are used in the same year that they were awarded, the ministry added.
In 2013, the volume of actual exports — or weapons actually shipped abroad — fell by 1.4 percent to €933.2 million.
The ministry said that EU and NATO countries accounted for 38 percent of export licenses by value in 2013, compared with 45 percent in 2012.
Other countries accounted for 62 percent, with a particularly sharp rise for countries such as Algeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
Algeria was the biggest customer for German-made defense equipment, followed by Qatar, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Israel, Britain, South Korea, Singapore and France, the ministry said.