Illicit commerce is seriously harming the U.S. economy, impacting critical American industries and brands, and posing a grave threat to the health and safety of our citizens and communities. Criminals and counterfeiters are expanding their market share with fake products in storefront and on-line markets, contributing to a growing global illegal economy valued at between $500 billion and $3 trillion. Criminally-derived profits (or dirty money) related to corruption and money laundering constitute several trillion dollars more that further finances insecurity and instability around the world.
Luna Global Networks: Helping Companies and Businesses to Protect their Brands: Safeguard their Market Reputational Value: Secure their Supply Chains: Harness Sustainability for Good. Call Us: We Can Help: +1-202-683-2014
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A Strategic Advantage: Luna Global Networks is well-prepared to help tackle among the most pressing illicit trade and governance challenges and related security threats across borders, markets, and industries through convergence strategies and tactical plans that target an illicit threat environment more holistically; net-centric partnerships that harness collective action; designing of pragmatic brand protection solutions and supply chain security strategies; and employing transformative technologies that produce greater results, and more enduring market reputational value.
Illicit Trade and cybercrime are serious security threats that fuel a multi-trillion dollar global illegal economy every year and that harms every sector, market, industry, and community every day.
“Illicit commerce is seriously harming the U.S. economy, impacting critical American industries and brands, and posing a grave threat to the health and safety of our citizens and communities,” said author of a new report published in May 2019 by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition. The author, former Chair of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, David M. Luna (罗文礼), President and CEO, found that criminals and counterfeiters are expanding their market share with fake products in storefront and on-line markets, contributing to a growing global illegal economy valued at between $500 billion and $3 trillion. Criminally-derived profits (or dirty money) related to corruption and money laundering constitute several trillion dollars more that further finances insecurity and instability around the world.
In a March 2019 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, “Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods”, the OECD and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) estimated the value of imported fakes worldwide at US$509 billion in 2016, or up to 3.3 percent of the global trade in goods.
The alarming rise in fake products are found in a range of industries, from luxury items (e.g. fashion apparel, handbags, footwear or deluxe watches), to intermediary products (such as machines, spare parts, or chemicals), to consumer goods that have an impact on personal health and safety such as pharmaceuticals, food and drink, medical equipment, electronics or toys.
Brands suffering the most from counterfeiting were largely from OECD and EU member countries with US companies at the top of the list. The joint analyses by the OECD and EUIPO showed that China is the top producer of counterfeit goods in nine out of ten product categories, while Hong Kong (China), Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates are global transit hubs for the trade in counterfeit goods.
Internet on-line shopping and cybercrime also present a threat to companies and consumers alike, especially as more shopping has moved to cyber marketplaces, where criminals are profiting immensely from peddling their fake and dangerous goods and other illicit commodities, and committing numerous fraudulent and criminal activities.
A new Cybersecurity Ventures report estimates that the financial costs and damages from cybercrime will double annually from $US 3 trillion in 2015 to $US 6 trillion by 2021. In addition to dis-incentivizing innovation and economic damages, the impacts include reputational harm, stolen data, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, and other costs.
Cybersecurity Ventures also predicts that there will be: 6 billion Internet users by 2022 (75 percent of the projected world population of 8 billion) — and more than 7.5 billion Internet users by 2030 (90 percent of the projected world population of 8.5 billion, 6 years of age and older).
When one couples these statistics with the fact that the global illegal economy is booming and that cybercrime is exploding, one has to truly be incredibly concerned about the massive convergence threats in the future related to the cybercrime and intellectual property infringement nexus.
Navigating Today’s Global Complex Security Landscapes: Managing Reputational Risks and Threat Mitigation across Markets
Anticipate, navigate through, and manage today’s global threat environment.
The impact of transnational security threats is truly global and their real threat centers in some cases on their convergence. In particular, the trans-regional illicit trafficking of counterfeits, natural resources, humans, and other illicit trade goods and services, is fueling greater insecurity and instability across markets and impairing global supply chains and ability to conduct business internationally.
Corruption, organized crime, and in some cases, terrorism, further complicate the global trading system, international finance, and commerce.
Luna Global Networks: Planning and preparing for today’s security, market shocks, and risk and threat landscapes entails strategic business planning through market intelligence analytics, anticipatory approaches and preventive guidance, risk-management, threat mitigation solutions, and convergence strategies. Luna Global Networks can help protect your brand, develop a strategic AIT business plan, and safeguard your company’s market reputational value.
ILLICIT TRADE & THE GLOBAL ILLEGAL ECONOMY
Illicit trade is a global phenomenon.
Globalization has enabled and provided opportunities for criminals and their networks to expand the scope and scale of their operations in a manner that has direct impacts to all economies, markets, communities, and people across the world.
Diversion, counterfeiting and smuggling of many of today’s leading brands are very lucrative for criminals — and in some cases, terrorist groups: it is a low-risk, high reward business.
Illicit trade operates in the shadow of the global economy, with increasingly sophisticated traffickers dealing in everything from narcotics, people, arms, and wildlife to counterfeit and pirated goods including: electronics, sport and luxury apparel, medicines, perfumes, computers and software, watches, illicit tobacco and alcohol products, music, movies, and internet entertainment property rights, and much more.
Illicit trade and illicit markets are a growing security concern globally, and their convergence presents great harms and “wicked” threats to communities and societies as a whole: threatening the health and safety of our people with deadly narcotics or consumers with substandard products and counterfeits such as fake medicines, food, alcohol and defective automotive and aircraft parts; bringing endangered wildlife closer to the brink of extinction; endangering our rainforests and planet through illegal logging, illicit fishing, and other environmental crimes; exploiting our most vulnerable and desperate into forced labor or trafficking humans across borders into slavery; and enabling lucrative illicit empires that finance acts of criminality and terrorism and create greater instability and violence around the world.
Illicit Trade Harms to Businesses and Industries
Illicit trade not only results in lost profits for companies, job displacements for workers, business closures, economic hardships for governments when less revenue is brought into the treasuries to fund public services, but also poses grave dangers to public health and safety.
Companies often must also address the diminished integrity and market reputation of their venerable brands that they have worked hard to build and innovate upon over many years.
IP theft also discourages foreign investors from transferring their most innovative technologies and makes mutually beneficial alliances with local innovators to improve and modify technology for local markets difficult, if not impossible.
Free Trade Zones can have a catalytic effect on economies, including attracting Foreign Direct Investment and helping to expand economic growth. But in too many parts of the world, FTZs are also exploited on a daily basis by some to facilitate illicit activities that produce broader market reputational harm and put the physical security of many communities in danger.
Illicit trade and associated criminality in one FTZ can have serious security ripple effects in other FTZs all around the world. Such connectivity and convergence between the world’s various free trade zones help to create a bigger cross-border threat altogether as some reports have underscored.
In their 2018 Global Illicit Trade Environment Index, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT), underscored the threats that many FTZs pose to countries, and how “governments across the world have created within their borders unmonitored havens ripe for criminal operations”. The reality is that criminals are diligently moving illegal products from FTZs into surrounding markets, evading customs, not paying excise duties, and putting locally manufactured and legitimately imported goods at a competitive disadvantage.
Luna Global Networks can help to design effective counter illicit trade and convergence strategies and cross-border enforcement courses of action including conducting training workshops and promoting best practices in effectively fighting illicit trade, and coordinating across regions and borders to address critical vulnerabilities that facilitate illegal activities across economies, markets, and FTZs. Luna Global Networks is a globally-recognized leader in developing dynamic strategic alliances, fostering public-private partnerships, and promoting innovative Anti-Illicit Trade (AIT) and Brand Protection solutions and supply chain security strategies on an array of convergence crime issues around the world.
ANTI-BRIBERY, ANTI-CORRUPTION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE
SHARPEN YOUR COMPETITIVENESS
Corruption and illicit trade are threat multipliers. No economy or market is immune from the webs of corruption and criminality, nor can any one community combat these threats alone.
They destabilize rule of law and market-based institutions that underpin democracy. Corruption also fuels transnational crimes and threatens our collective security.
Dishonest, corrupt, and unethical behavior among public officials undermines the trust and confidence of communities that their governments can do “good” and advance the public interest.
FIGHTING CORRUPTION IS GOOD BUSINESS: HELPS FOSTER TRUST, INTEGRITY, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MARKETS AND GOVERNMENTS ALIKE
Bribery in international business, both on the part of companies bribing government officials, and officials demanding bribes to grant firms licenses, permits, or business deals, undermines free and fair competition and perpetuates a culture of corruption, and may result in reputational harm and civil and criminal liability to companies.
Developing a comprehensive “anti-corruption” and corporate compliance programs as part of your company’s standard business practice may help limit your company’s risk and help avoid potential financial costs and market value. An anti-bribery compliance program and sound anti-corruption strategies can also help to protect your company’s reputation, minimize its liability, and maintain its long-term viability.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE
Fighting corruption and bribery is good business: helps foster trust, integrity, and economic growth in markets and governments alike.
Luna Global Networks: Preventive advisory services, global anti-corruption strategies, corporate compliance program development, designing risk-mitigation solutions, and promoting market integrity and good governance practices.
David M. Luna is the chief executive and president of Luna Global Networks and Convergence Strategies LLC.
With 22 years of Federal Service in the U.S. Government, Mr. Luna held numerous senior positions with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), including directorships for national security, transnational crime and illicit networks, and anti-corruption and good governance; and served as an advisor to the Secretary’s Coordinator for the Rule of Law. Mr. Luna also served as an Assistant Counsel to the President, Office of the Counsel to the President, The White House, as well as in other positions with the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Mr. Luna is the new chair of the Anti-Illicit Trade Committee of the United States Council for International Business and is also currently a Senior Fellow for National Security at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University.
Mr. Luna previously served as the President (Chair) of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade; Chair and Vice Chair of the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency (ACT) Working Group, U.S. Coordinator, APEC ACT Pathfinder Dialogues on Fighting Corruption and Illicit Trade; Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade and Organized Crime (and Member of the Human Trafficking Task Force); co-Chair G-7 Experts Group on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade; U.S. Coordinator, Dialogues on the Crime-Terror Nexus and Dismantling Transnational Illicit Networks; U.S. Representative, Global Forum on Fighting Corruption II-VI; and other diplomatic initiatives and public-private partnerships on anti-crime and global security.
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