Vietnam's defence ministry said on Friday it will organise an international arms fair in December, as it seeks to diversify its arms supplies and expand cooperation in arms production and exports.

The event, to be held at Gia Lam airbase in Hanoi from December 19-22, is "an opportunity for international defence cooperation and to seek partners to promote weapon production and exports", a ministry official said at the press briefing.

The Southeast Asian nation is one of the world's 20 biggest buyers of weapons amid on-and-off tensions with China and has been seeking to reduce its reliance on Russian arms.

It has also been pushing to export weapons made locally with foreign partners.

Vietnam held its first international arms fair in December 2022, which attracted 174 exhibitors from 30 countries, including all large arms-making nations except China.

The ministry on Friday said "several deals were reached" at that arms fair, without giving further details.

The Southeast Asian country has an annual military expenditure of above 2% of its gross domestic product, according to the ministry.

Vietnam is producing among other weapons small weapons, ammunitions, drones and armoured vehicles.

(Reporting by Khanh Vu and Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Michael Perry)