France has set up a special unit to maximise any opportunity to sell the nation’s weapons.

The unit will work alongside the country’s “war room” set up by President Nicolas Sarkozy to swiftly put together attractive arms sales packages, a senior official says.

The official says Mr Sarkozy understands the need to copy the American way of putting together rapid arms deals tailor-made to each situation and to use arms sales as a means of entering markets.

France’s move comes after the UK announced plans to shut down its arms sales unit – DESO – earlier this year.

France is the world’s second largest arms exporter, with a market share worth US$7.9bn.

By staff writer