According to a US government report, India spent $12.6 billion on the purchase of arms whereas Pakistan spent $3.8 billion.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) report said that while the United Arab Emirates was the developing world's leading arms buyer from 1996-2003, with purchases totalling $15.7 billion, China came second with purchases of $13.7 billion.
This is followed by Egypt with $13.6 billion, then India, followed by Israel ($9.9 billion), Saudi Arabia ($9.4 billion), South Korea ($8.8 billion), South Africa ($5.3 billion) and Malaysia ($5 billion).
The US led worldwide weapons sales in 2003, with sales totalling $14.5 billion, or 56.7 per cent of all arms agreements, up from $13.6 billion in 2002.
Russia was ranked second with arms sales of $4.3 billion, or 16.8 per cent of all global sales in 2003, compared with sales of $5.9 billion in 2002. Germany came third with arms sales of $1.4 billion in 2003, or 3.9 per cent of global sales.
The report, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations," is published annually by the CRS that is part of the US Library of Congress.
The unclassified study, written by national defence specialist Richard Grimmett, is considered the most authoritative compilation of statistics on global conventional arms sales available.
Meanwhile, global arms sales in 2003 fell approximately 12 per cent to $25.6 billion compared with $29.14 billion in 2002, the third consecutive year total arms sales have fallen.
"Relationships between arms suppliers and recipients continue to evolve in response to changing political, military and economic circumstances," the CRS report said.
"Nonetheless, the developing world continues to be the primary focus of foreign arms sales activity by conventional weapons suppliers."
"The US and Russia collectively made (arms sales) agreements in 2003 valued at over $18.8 billion, 73.5 per cent of all international arms transfer agreements made by all supplies," the report said.
"The downturn in weapons orders worldwide since 2000 has been notable. Were it not for a few large military aircraft orders in 2003, the total for that year would have been substantially lower," the report said.