Paris: The value of global counterfeited goods traded in 2005 was at least $200 bn (Rs 8,000 crore) and according to OECD estimates, this could be several hundred billion dollars more.
More alarming was the finding that the epicentre of piracy is Asia, with specific focus on India and China, with the latter being the world’s biggest supplier to the piracy trade.
The multilateral economics body, which has 30 member countries, released details of an 18-month probe into counterfeiting and piracy worldwide that aimed to shed light on the shadowy business of bootlegs and fakes.
The figure of $ 200 bn, based on international customs data, did not include counterfeit and pirated products that were produced and consumed in the same country, the OECD said.
It also excluded pirated digital products distributed via the Internet such as software or music.
If these items were added, the total magnitude of counterfeiting and piracy worldwide could well be several hundred billion dollars more than the $200 bn estimate.
The OECD study, entitled “The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy,” identified Asia as the source of 70% of seized pirated goods, with China the biggest single supplier.
The investigation, full details of which will be released at the end of the month, also found that an increasingly large range of products were being copied illegally.
Far from being simple cigarettes or designer t-shirts, professional counterfeiters are producing complex products such as automotive parts, pharmaceuticals and electrical equipment.