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ETC Group Releases New Report
on Corporate Power, Oligopoly, Inc. 2005

 


 

As governments at the 6th WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong bristle with the thorny politics of trade, the report that ETC Group releases today, Oligopoly, Inc. 2005, serves as a reminder that what looks like buying and selling between countries is most often the redistribution of capital among subsidiaries of the same parent multinational corporation.

ETC Group's new report is available at www.etcgroup.org

In Oligopoly, Inc. 2005 ETC Group revisits the sectors analyzed in Oligopoly, Inc. 2003 and finds that corporate concentration - not only in food and agriculture, but in all sectors related to the products and processes of life - has increased remarkably since the last review two years ago. Since then:
* the world's top 10 seed companies have increased their control from one-third to one-half of the global seed trade
* the top 10 biotech enterprises have raised their share from just over half to nearly three-quarters of world biotech sales
* the market share of the top 10 pesticide manufacturers rose modestly, from 80 to 84%, but industry analysts predict that only three companies will survive the next decade
* The top 10 pharmaceutical companies control almost 59% market share of the world's leading 98 drug firms (previously the top 10 accounted for 53% market share of 118 companies)

Hope Shand, ETC Group's research director, observes, "It comes as no surprise that corporate concentration has increased dramatically since ETC Group's Oligopoly, Inc. 2003 report. The trend line is distressing and the predictions of new mergers and greater concentration are alarming. What we are witnessing is ever more concentrated control over every aspect of life."

As the input-ers and the output-ers battle for survival and supremacy, ETC Group's report shows that a subterranean struggle is underway at the nano-scale to control the fundamental building blocks of life and nature. Corporate investment in nanobiotechnology (or, synthetic biology) could give ultimate control to a very different set of corporate actors. In the coming decades, nano-scale technologies, particularly synthetic biology, could make geography, raw materials, and even labour, irrelevant.

ETC Group's executive director Pat Mooney explains, "In a very real sense, technology is poised to surpass trade as the defining feature of comparative advantage in the 21st century. While corporate concentration dominates commodity trade, proprietary technologies spanning multiple industrial sectors are the royal flush - the winning hand that beats all. The message for Hong Kong is clear:
Technology Trumps Trade." In particular, countries in the global South need to consider both corporate concentration and emerging technology trends to avoid dead-end trade deals.

On December 12th in Hong Kong, ETC Group reported on a study prepared for the South Centre that looks at the potential impact of new nano- scale technologies on Commodity Dependent Developing Countries and argues that "technology will trump trade" in the 21st century. The report can be downloaded from www.southcentre.org.

For more information:

Hope Shand and Kathy Jo Wetter (USA)
tel: +1 (919) 960-5223
hope@etcgroup.org
kjo@etcgroup.org

Pat Mooney (Ottawa)
tel: +1 (613) 241-2267
etc@etcgroup.org

Silvia Ribeiro (Mexico)
tel: +52 55 55 632 664
silvia@etcgroup.org

The Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration, ETC Group, is dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of cultural and ecological diversity and human rights. ETC Group is also a member of the Community Biodiversity Development and Conservation Programme (CBDC). The CBDC is a collaborative experimental initiative involving civil society organizations and public research institutions in 14 countries. The CBDC is dedicated to the exploration of community-directed programmes to strengthen the conservation and enhancement of agricultural biological diversity.
CBDC website is www.cbdcprogram.org All ETC Group publications are available on our website: www.etcgroup.org

 

 

www.nano-tsunami.com
This story has been adapted from a news release -
Diese Meldung basiert auf einer Pressemitteilung -
Deze tekst is gebaseerd op een nieuwsbericht -

 



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