Economic Development and production of fakes: Who are the losers?

Alongside development, modernisation, globalisation of trade and/or liberalisation of the world economy, crimes also have become globalised. Neo-liberal ideology opposes all forms of government interventions in entrepreneurial activities. Under this setup, the interaction between socio-economic actors are determined by the market by preserving freedom of business and corporations. As liberalisation and market deregulations are the core of neo-liberalism, it gives the power to economic elites and reduces the power of the states; therefore, non-state actors from local, regional and international scales have found wider room to operate their own agenda which is mostly corrupt & exploitative. Profit and power have intermingled leaving the state powerless or with a little capacity to handle such globalised criminal activities. Technological innovation, deregulation and free market which was considered good and promoted to make the world a better place, have been used as tools by these globalised criminals to go beyond state sovereignty and exploit the whole process to their benefits.

Cheap labour and low manufacturing costs in developing countries have led corporations in developed countries to outsource their corporate production activities. This has created opportunities for the producers to sell their products in unauthorised ways taking advantage of the free market. As there is a demand for goods in the Western countries, outsourcing to countries like India and China have increased due to the availability of cheap labour and infrastructure. Low paid factory owners and workers in these countries have attracted large corporations from north who wanted their goods to be produced cheaply. This is kind of mutual benefit in nature, e.g. large corporations getting original goods produced at a cheap cost and at the same time letting the partner factories in developing countries to fake these original products violating the intellectual property right act. Eventually, selling these products especially in the local markets or poor countries where the consumers are poor and cannot afford the original products.

download-1While china has been producing large amounts of fake goods, India has been involved in the production of fake pharmaceuticals. This is a pattern of Eastern/southern and western/northern production and supply linkage between larger corporations and local factory owners which have fuelled the production and selling of fakes in the countries of production and other developing countries. The extreme nature of these crimes are, for example, 192,000 deaths in China during 2001 due to counterfeit medical products which eventually closed down 1300 factories. Large amounts of sales of lifestyle drugs such as Viagra and steroids in western markets and even drugs for serious diseases like HIV and malaria have been flooded in developing countries.

Although the growth and development have been well-regarded, it is not coming with only positive expenses. Who are the winners and losers in this process of growth and development?

You may relate it to the widespread poverty, farmer’s suicide, Bhopal gas tragedy, larger environmental issues and health issues and find the losers and the winners.

Thank you

P.S. References will be provided on request.

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