Trade in fake Italian goods costs economy billions of euros

Giuseppe Conte Italy 2018

Giuseppe Conte, Italian Prime Minister. (Presidenza della Repubblica, 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.

Global trade in fake Italian goods such as luxury handbags, watches, foodstuffs and car parts is taking a bite out of Italy’s economy equivalent to around 1-2% of GDP in terms of lost sales, according to a new OECD report.

Trade in counterfeit goods and the Italian economy estimates the total value of counterfeit and pirated Italian goods sold worldwide at over 35 billion euros for 2013, equivalent to 4.9% of global Italian manufacturing sales. This resulted in over 25 billion euros in lost sales by Italian companies in a year when Italy’s GDP was 1.6 trillion euros.

Past OECD analysis of data from nearly half a million customs seizures around the world over 2011-13 has shown that trade in counterfeit goods is worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, or 2.5% of global imports. US, Italian and French brands are among the hardest hit, and with an economy that thrives on producing high-value products, protected by intellectual property rights and trademarks, Italy is especially vulnerable.

As well as examining the impact of trade in fake Italian products, the report also looks at the impact on Italy of imports of counterfeit goods. It finds that fake imports were worth over 10 billion euros, or 3% of imports, in 2013 and resulted in foregone domestic sales by Italian wholesalers and shops of around 7 billion euros. The fake items were imported mainly from China (50%) and Hong Kong (29%), followed by Greece (6%), Singapore (4%) and Turkey (2%).

The combination of trade in fake Italian products and imports of counterfeit goods resulted in a loss of public revenues in Italy equal to 10 billion euros, or 0.6% of Italian GDP. Counterfeiting and piracy also led to the loss of at least 87,000 jobs in Italy in 2013, equivalent to 2% of the country’s full-time equivalent employees.

The highest losses in sales, in euro terms, in the Italian wholesale and retail sectors due to counterfeit and pirated imports in 2013 were for high-tech electronic, electrical and optical products, followed by clothing, footwear, leather and related products. In terms of market share, the biggest losses were in the watch and jewellery sector, where the counterfeit market caused a 7.5% loss in sales.

The report shows that around half of the fake goods smuggled into Italy in 2013 were sold to consumers who were aware they were buying fake products, with the remaining share purchased unknowingly. The share of fakes bought knowingly in Italy ranges from 15% from food items to 60% for watches and IT and communications devices.

The OECD is working with governments to address gaps in regulation and poor law enforcement that enable counterfeit trade, largely run by organised crime gangs, to flourish.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

It’s time to strengthen global digital cooperation

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

8 top stories from the week in Davos 2020

Climate finance for developing countries reached USD 71 billion in 2017

4 ways to become a ‘business baobab’ on the African economic landscape

‘Champion for multilateralism’ readies to hand over UN General Assembly gavel

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

Why maps matter in our response to COVID-19

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

‘Refrain from violence’ UN chief urges, as presidential election result is announced in DR Congo

Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

First Western Sahara talks at UN in six years, begin in Geneva

Africa is set to get its first vertical forest

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

Student-teacher ratio in terms of numbers and quality: an opinion article of nowadays context worldwide

How to get young people in Europe to swipe right on voting

Libya: Thousands seek shelter in health clinics from Tripoli fighting, UN warns

COVID-19 Vaccination Campaigngs: anti-vaccine movement is still a challenge

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

Scientists have created biodegradable microneedles to fight eye disease

Venezuela: ‘Shocked’ by alleged torture, death of navy captain, UN human rights chief urges ‘in-depth’ investigation

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

3 ways business leaders can build digital trust

COVID-19 outbreak: Commission supports repatriation of EU citizens from cruise ship in Japan

This is what different countries are doing to stop coronavirus from spreading

Brexit: the Commission proposes the creation of a Brexit Adjustment Reserve

EU Council: Private web data to be protected by…abusers

UPDATED: Guterres condemns armed attack against UN peacekeepers in Mali

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

Our Amazon is disappearing in ashes

Ethiopia will soon introduce visa-free travel for all Africans

Is flexible working here to stay? We asked 6 companies how to make it work

End fossil fuel subsidies, and stop using taxpayers’ money to destroy the world: Guterres

Colombia: Santos thanks the EU for its support to the peace process

6 ways least developed countries can participate in the 4IR

“No labels for entrepreneurs!”, a young business leader from Italy cries out

The use of technology in medicine: How to not deconstruct our ethics

Trade Barriers Report: EU continues to open up markets outside Europe in midst of rising protectionism

UN News 2018 Recap: In Case You Missed It

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

Hot air behind your cold fridge? Why the future of cooling must be sustainable

Boat made of recycled plastic and flip-flops inspires fight for cleaner seas along African coast

Hardened creditors drive Greece to dire straits; Tsipras desperate for an agreement

The Sting’s Values

Human trafficking: stronger measures to protect women, children and migrants

17 innovations accelerating the transition to a circular economy

Zuckerberg, a paella, and the mighty EU questionnaires that would stop Whatsapp acquisition by Facebook?

Cross-border cooperation: the EU Interreg programme celebrates 30 years of bringing citizens closer together

3 things governments and donors can do now to protect women from violence

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

IMF: European banks do not perform their duty to real economy

Circular Plastics Alliance: 100+ signatories commit to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Telemedicine in Brazilian favelas: The medicine of social isolation transforming public health

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s