CEMAC zone: recession could reach 6% according to BEAC

All the indicators are certainly not red. But most of the economic indicators in the six countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) are already found the Monetary Policy Committee (CPM) of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) at the end of the second annual session on June 24, 2020 in Yaoundé.

Analyzing the situation in Central Africa, it emerges that in the short and medium terms, the CEMAC zone is affected by the health crisis and the fall in the prices of the main export products. "

"In the first half of 2020, the revival of productive activities was slowed down in the sub-region by the disruption of supply circuits for imported products as well as by the restrictive measures adopted by the various governments to contain the effects of the pandemic. Although it is premature for the moment to fully grasp the impact of COVID-19 on national economies, it is already anticipated during this first semester a drop in production as well as a det…

France among the big arms dealers

The French arms industry is surfing on the record level of world arms sales. In the background, there is the rise of conflict in the world, whether it is:

1) state, that is to say, the result of a confrontation between two states, or between a state and a rebel group, what most people call "war";
2) non-state, such as inter-ethnic, inter-cartel conflicts or even a conflict described as "unilateral violence" which refers to the use of armed force against civilians by a State or of an armed group.

After falling to 81 in 2010, the number of conflicts has more than doubled since and has exceeded 160 since 2017.

France among the big arms dealers

A market of at least 420 billion dollars in 2018, excluding China
This rise in violence was accompanied by that of military spending worldwide, up 13% in constant dollars between 2008 and 2018. In current dollars, the sum of annual defense budgets now exceeds $ 1,800 billion, or the equivalent of 2.1% of world GDP.

It is in this context of rising military spending that the arms sales market is evolving, which is beneficial to the major arms-producing countries and their businesses. Result: the activity of the 100 largest companies in the sector reached $ 420 billion in 2018, up 4.6% on 2017 in constant dollars and 47% since 2002. And still, the real figure is much higher because Chinese companies, for lack of reliable data, are excluded from the analysis. China is a constantly growing defense budget: over the past five years, it has spent more than $ 1,000 billion, which is certainly three times less than the United States, but three times more than closest pursuers including France in 5th position.

However, if 10 years ago, the Middle Empire still depended largely on Russian and Ukrainian imports for its armaments, this is no longer the case today as shown by the launch in December 2019 of its first carrier 100% “made in China” aircraft. While figures on arms sales by Chinese companies remain difficult to access, estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) place China in 2nd place, far behind the United States , but far ahead of Russia and the United Kingdom which are neck and neck. France, with more than $ 20 billion in sales, finds itself as the 5th largest producer of weapons in the world.

France, 3rd arms exporter

This hierarchy is also that of the strength of internal markets, the desire for autonomy in armaments and the various military powers. The data on foreign trade give another information, that of the place taken by these countries in the world arms trade and the positions are changing. If the United States remains number 1, it shares leadership with Russia. This duo is more than half of the world's arms exports. In third position, France, with 7% market share, ahead of Germany and China, most of whose arms production is in fact intended for the People's Army.

This number 3 place in France is mainly based on 6 groups: Thalès, Naval Group, Safran, Dassault Aviation, CEA and Nexter, industrial group of land armaments - manufacturer of the Leclerc tank in particular - list to which Airbus must be added, 7th largest weapons manufacturer in the world, and MBDA, a European group among the main manufacturers of missiles in the world, of which Airbus and BAE are the main shareholders.
This strike force allows France to impose itself on all continents with a center of gravity which nevertheless leans clearly towards the Near and Middle East, despite a recent refocusing on European countries. The place of India can be explained by the first deliveries of the contract for the 36 Rafale aircraft passed in 2016. Over 10 years, the first 10 customers, it is € 30 billion in equipment exports.

And it is in 2019, a surplus of 5 billion against 1.3 billion in 2000. And this is only the tip of the iceberg because it does not cover services, contracts that can run on several tens of 'years. For a country that fails to balance its external accounts, this is precious.

Should we be happy or sorry: France is a big arms dealer. But here as elsewhere, his positions are threatened. By the rise of China on the international scene, a country not a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty adopted in 2013 by the UN to moralize this trade. By strategic misses such as that of drones, a huge fiasco, which led to the acquisition of American equipment, a great stab at the principle of strategic and industrial autonomy of France.