Committed to building more dynamic economies in the 21st century, the United States of America today underlined the importance of collective action among countries to shut Down the global illegal economy.
In his remarks in Paris in France, US Director David M. Luna
for Anticrime Programs says the world has recognized that inaction was not a viable option to address the threat of
However, Mr. Luna points out that through collective action and a multi-sector approach, countries could strive to shut down the global illegal economy and help communities to nurture transformative and sustainable markets.
He indicates that instead of harmful counterfeits and illicit products that pose health hazards to our people, countries could work together to build more dynamic economies focused on innovation, competitiveness, and, above all, a brighter future.
Public-Private Partnerships to Shut Down the Global Illegal Economy
As a co-chair to the first meeting of the Task Force on Charting Illicit Trade, Mr. Luna notes that in October 2012, they spent a productive day exploring the harms posed by illicit trade and the illegal economy on global supply chain integrity, economic growth, market security, and development.
“We agreed that no single government or company can design and implement an effective solution to this complex problem alone, nor does any single entity have a complete understanding of how vast the problem really is.” – Mr. Luna
He says illicit trade, corruption, and crime impede these aspirations and weaken the potential of our commitment, especially in the developing world.
Last fall, contries decided to join forces to identify and quantify the risks and harms of illicit trade, to look at their policies with a critical eye, and to brainstorm how they can work together to block illicit trade and protect the supply chains that stimulate economies in countries at the level of production, transit, and consumption.
“Today, we meet in Paris to carry forward this commitment.” – Mr. Luna
The US applauds the OECD and Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria for their leadership in taking on this challenge through the High-Level Risk Forum, which seeks to increase societal resilience to global risks and emerging threats such as natural disasters, pandemics, and, increasingly, crime.
Mr. Luna also extends a special thanks to the private sector participants who have agreed to share their expertise and confront this problem as equal partners with the government representatives in the room.
In addition, Mr. Luna expresses gratefulnees to all the international organizations and governments who brought their commitment and expertise to develop effective public-private partnerships to combat the global illegal economy and help build and sustain tomorrow’s new markets and investment frontiers.
Illicit Trade: A Risk We Can Control
According to Mr. Luna, humans tend to exaggerate the risks of spectacular events that are extremely rare but that result in many losses immediately –a factory fire, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster.
Meanwhile, humans also underestimate the risks of long-term events that affect us every day in small ways, adding up to a major impact.
“Illicit trade is one of these risks.” – Mr. Luna
He says in order to combat illicit trade, they must understand the risks and costs.
“We have the data. Now we need to aggregate and share it.” – Mr. Luna
The world needs tools and maps to inform the public about the breadth of illicit trade and the challenges it poses.
Impacts of illicit networks
According to Mr. Luna, countries must work together to visualize the illicit networks and nodes they all know exist, because we experience their impact every day.
He says governments cannot afford to provide vital public services because customs revenues are being siphoned away by smugglers, criminals, and corrupt officials.
In addition, people die because the drug they were told would cure malaria actually contains chalk.
“Our nationals are subjected to forced labor to secure ill-gained finances for unscrupulous businesses in the global supply chain.” – Mr. Luna
He say businesses suffer the loss of revenue from counterfeiting or black market distribution of their products.
Mr. Luna says when men, women, and children are trafficked to support the illegal economy, human trafficking further promotes breakdown of families and communities, deprives countries of human capital, undermines public health, creates opportunities for extortion and subversion among government officials, and imposes large economic costs.
Amid facing the threats of illegal trade, Mr. Luna looks forward to working with the participants of the meeting today, tomorrow, and in the coming months as they build a clearer panorama of the harms posed by illicit trade and illicit financial flows, develop innovative policy solutions to combat it, and promote effective public-private partnerships across the OECD, WEF, and other communities around the world, to improve the state of our world.
Is Global Illicit Economy Experiencing a Boom?
Recognizing the harms of illicit trade and the illegal economy to international peace and security, the United States of America has reported that the global illicit economy is experiencing a boom.
Countries are familiar with the harms of illicit trade and the illegal economy to international peace and security, social cohesion, and economic growth and development.
So why is there so much attention on illicit trade and the illegal economy?
Reports say global criminal activities are transforming the international system, upending the rules, creating new players, and reconfiguring power in international politics and economics.
Today, global criminal activities “have “transformed the system, changed the rules, and altered power dynamics across the globe.”
US says the global illicit economy is experiencing a boom thanks to a wide spectrum of illicit activities: narcotics, kidnapping-for-ransom, arms trafficking, human smuggling and trafficking, the trade in stolen and counterfeit goods, bribery, and money laundering, to name just a small cross-section.
According to some estimates, the illegal economy accounts for 8 to 15 percent of world GDP, distorting local economies, diminishing legitimate business revenues, fueling conflict, and deteriorating social conditions, Mr. Luna reported.
Reports say one in which legal business transactions and legitimate commerce both perpetuate and feed off the illegal economy; one in which illegal arms brokers and narcotics kingpins are acting in practice as the new CEOs and venture capitalists.
US says from Wall Street to other financial centers across the globe, illicit networks are infiltrating and corrupting licit markets, reducing productivity, and dis-incentivizing investments in research and development.
Today’s global threat environment is a multi-dimensional matrix connecting an incredible array of illicit actors and networks at critical nodes in space and time.
The pipelines linking these threat actors and networks slice through borders, drain licit markets into illicit cesspools of wealth, and undercut the interests and security of our partners across the international community.
The illicit trade and the wide availability of illicit liquidity not only prevent fair and open markets from reaching their full economic potential and threaten state sovereignty, but the hard truth is that illicit trade also decays communities as kleptocrats, criminals, terrorists.
The United States asserts that corruption and illicit trade are not only barriers to economic growth, trade and investment, and market integrity, but also weaken the entrepreneurial spirit that nurtures innovation, openness, and competiveness. Moreover, whether it be counterfeit medicines or other dangerous counterfeits, defective products, or tainted goods, illicit trade imperils human security and erodes public confidence across our economies.