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Counterfeit and pirated goods represent 3.3% of global trade

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An electronics market in Chinese city Shenzhen, where suppliers sell electronic components. DANSON CHEONG/THE STRAITS TIMES (SINGAPORE)

Counterfeit and pirated goods represent 3.3% of global trade

GLOBAL sales of counterfeit and pirated goods have soared to €460 billion ($522 billion) per year, amounting to a whopping 3.3 per cent of world trade, according to a report published on Monday.

The latest assessment by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the OECD found the share of counterfeit goods had seen a “considerable” rise since its previous 2016 estimate of 2.5 per cent of global trade.

Such goods represented €121 billion worth of imports into the EU alone – a massive 6.8 per cent of total imports into the bloc, up from five per cent in 2016, EUIPO said in a statement.

“Counterfeiting and piracy pose a major threat to innovation and economic growth, at both EU and global level,” EUIPO executive director Christian Archambeau said.

He said that the “deeply concerning” rise “clearly calls for coordinated action, at all levels, to be fully tackled”.

The companies most affected by counterfeiting and piracy are mainly based in developed OECD nations like the US, Japan, South Korea and EU states, the report said.

But businesses in China, Brazil and Hong Kong are being increasingly hit, it added.

The countries exporting the most counterfeit and pirated goods were China, Hong Kong, UAE, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand, India and Malaysia.

The report was based on data from almost half a million customs seizures by international enforcement agencies.

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