The illicit economy places grave danger to global growth. Criminal activities such as corruption and tax evasion make up 8% of world trade, according to UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Organized crime preys on every aspect of society, with football, banking secrecy and endangered species being its most high-profile victims in the past year. Criminal networks have expanded into multi-billion dollar syndicates, harnessing the illicit trade of people, goods, drugs, money, intellectual property and environmental resources. Estimates of the shadow economy place the scale of the issue at $650 billion, or a staggering $2 trillion including money laundering.
Over the years, various World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils have addressed the illicit economy – including counterfeiting, illegal drugs, human trafficking and intellectual property rights crimes – and the fundamental weakness in policy-making and collaboration in the field.
The Meta Council on the Illicit Economy will expand on this work to tackle other areas of illicit trade, such as illicit finance, narcotics and arms. Its aim is to: strengthen the multistakeholder approach to engage the private sector, government and civil society by creating a public-private partnership space to hold conversation around this topic; discover ways to collaborate and develop cross-cutting approach to address such a complex issue; and enhance public awareness and understanding to the harms and impacts of illicit economy. To foster a stronger collaboration and understanding on the state-of-play of this issue, the council will partner with relevant organizations to create a comprehensive inventory of initiatives.
Council Manager: Karen Wong, Community Specialist, Global Crime and Public Security, Karen.email@example.com
Forum Lead: Jean-Luc Vez, Head of Public Security Policy and Security Affairs, Global Crime and Public Security, Member of the Executive Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org