The value of global counterfeited goods in 2005 was at least $200 billion and could be several hundred billion dollars more, the OECD estimated on June 4.
The multilateral economics body, which has 30 member countries, released details of an 18-month study into counterfeiting and piracy worldwide and called on countries to step up action against the problem. "Counterfeiting and piracy are illicit businesses in which criminal networks thrive," the organization warned.
"The report shows that the items that they and other counterfeiters and pirates produce and distribute are often substandard and can even be dangerous."
The figure of $200 billion did not include counterfeit and pirated products that were produced and consumed in the same country and also excluded pirated digital products distributed via the Internet. "If these items were added, the total magnitude of counterfeiting and piracy worldwide could well be several hundred billion dollars more," the OECD said.
A study by the EU, published last week, showed that the number of counterfeited goods seized by customs officials at EU borders had tripled last year compared with 2005. Asia was identified as the biggest source of pirated goods, with 86% of seized products from China.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007