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  November 6th, 2017 | Written by

Partnership to Create Global Illicit Trade Environment Index

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  • New index will compare 79 countries on how well they enable or prevent illicit trade.
  • New index aims to improve understanding of the circumstances that enable illicit trade.
  • Trade index will assess countries on indicators including transparency, customs, IP protections, and criminal activity.

The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) announced the development of the Global Illicit Trade Environment Index comparing 79 countries on the extent to which they enable or prevent illicit trade.

The index, commissioned by TRACIT and produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, will improve the knowledge and understanding of the regulatory environment and economic circumstances that enable illicit trade. Countries will be assessed on several key indicators, including transparency, trade and investment regimes, customs environment, intellectual property protections, and indicators associated with criminal activity in the areas of money laundering, corruption and organized crime.

Illicit trade drains global GDP, robs governments of tax revenue, imposes unfair competition on legitimate business, increases supply chain costs, fuels corruption and puts cash in the hands of criminals,” said TRACIT Director-General Jeffrey Hardy. “This problem demands a global response.”

TRACIT is an independent, private sector initiative to drive change to mitigate the economic and social damages of illicit trade by strengthening government enforcement mechanisms and mobilizing businesses across industry sectors most impacted by illicit trade.

The initial Illicit Trade Environment Index was focused on Asia and drew needed attention to the issue. “We believe the global expansion will build on that success by providing new insights into the various forms of illicit trade and the social and economic impact they have on countries across the world,” said Chris Clague, managing editor, Asia with The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Findings from the Global Illicit Trade Environment Index will help governments better understand their effectiveness to fight illicit trade and help them establish policy priorities and identify areas that merit greater attention. The findings also provide companies and organizations with tools and messages to raise awareness of the illicit trade in goods across the globe.

The Global Illicit Trade Environment Index will be published in the second quarter of 2018.