Defence consumes 1.52% of GDP

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 07-12-2019 12:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal currently devotes 1.52% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to defence, above the target of 1.41% set by the Portuguese government for this year, but still far from the objective of 2% agreed between the member countries of NATO.

In the case of Portugal, the percentage of GDP allocated to this sector has been increasing since 2017, from 1.25% in that year to 1.43% in 2018 and to 1.52% in 2019 (the latter are still provisional data).

The goal set by the Portuguese Government for this year was to reach 1.41% of national wealth.

By 2024, the executive of António Costa aims to reach 1.66% of GDP in defence expenditure, a target that will still fall short of the 2% target agreed between NATO member countries at the Welsh summit in 2014.

The government also hopes to reach 1.98% of GDP if the country manages to obtain the EU funds to which it will apply under the next European Union Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027, namely through Horizon Europe and the European Defence Fund.

With the percentage already reached this year, Portugal remains the 16th member of NATO (out of a total of 29) that invests most in Defence, immediately ahead of Germany (1.38%), and prominently ahead of Belgium (0.93%), Spain (0.92%) and Luxembourg (0.56%), the allies in the 'tail' of the list.

Among the NATO member countries that invest the most in defense are the United States, which leads the list with a percentage of 3.42%, followed by Bulgaria (3.25%), Greece (2.28%) and the United Kingdom and Estonia (both 2.14%).

Data from the transatlantic organization indicate that, in absolute terms, Portugal should spend €3.16 billion on this sector in 2019, after spending €2.87 billion last year and having allocated €2.42 billion in 2017 (this in current prices).

A few days before the meeting of NATO leaders that marks the 70th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the data released today show "a growth in defence spending between the European allies and Canada for the fifth consecutive year".

"The real increase in 2019 is 4.6%" in general terms, he stressed, arguing that "this unprecedented progress and is strengthening NATO".

Jens Stoltenberg added that while member countries are "on the right track", they have to "keep up this pace".

Talking about the summit next week, the official said that the meeting will serve to "take stock of the role of NATO in the fight against terrorism", namely evaluating missions in Iraq and Afghanistan which, for Jens Stoltenberg, "continue to play a key role in preventing the resurgence of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups".

Other issues on the table will be NATO's response to Russia's violation of the Treaty of Intermediate Reach Nuclear Forces (INF), the implications of China's rise and the threats to cyber security, said the secretary general of the organization created in 1949.


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