|25 September, 2018

The Economist Events' Global Illicit Trade Summit to Spark Action-Driven Dialogue on Combating Illicit Trade

'Shadow' Economies estimated to be over US$3 trillion

UAE ranks 34th in the Global Illicit Trade Environment Index

UAE: From counterfeit goods to illicit financial flows, to human trafficking and drugs; the ‘shadow’ economy is estimated reach over US$3 trillion1.  With an aim to create a dialogue and address the root cause of illegal trade, The Economist Events will host the third Global Illicit Trade Summit on October 30th, 2018 at the Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi.

Newer technologies, crypto-currency, taxation, legal loopholes, rise of freezones, eCommerce and regional socio-economic instability have opened new opportunities for counterfeit, terrorism, Intellectual Property crimes and other illicit trade. The event offers a platform to facilitate dialogue between the private and public sector/ policy makers to forge an international response against illegal activities and protect society, consumers and the economy.

“Ranked 34 out of 84 nations worldwide, UAE is a paradigm of governance showing they will not tolerate    illicit activities,” said Christopher Clague, Managing editor, Asia and global editorial lead, trade and globalization, The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Criminals have been quick to take advantage of ever changing market condition and loopholes. Therefore, a conversation and cooperation between the private and public sector is imperative. The event brings a diverse group of people from different industries who will share best practices and thought leadership on how to tackle a multi-faceted global problem,” Clague added.

The Summit will feature a range of panel discussions, candid interviews and presentation from prominent influential leaders and experts. Some of the speakers include John Mair, Director, head of Project Integrity, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Abdelhak Senhadji, Deputy director of fiscal affairs, IMF; Brendan LeMoult, Vice-president, global compliance investigations, training and anti-illicit trade, JTI (Japan Tobacco International); Wael Adhami, Head of brand protection, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Johnson & Johnson, amongst others.

More than ever before, there is a clear business case for bringing the fight against illicit trade into the mainstream. “Wherever there are big price differences between markets, which are mostly driven by taxation, illegal trade takes place,” says Brendan LeMoult, Anti-illicit trade and fiscal affairs Vice-president, JTI. He emphasizes, “Regulators, law enforcement experts and the private sector need to work together on the issue. Our joint efforts with law enforcement agencies across the world have proven to be successful. Over the last nine months, over 2 billion illegal cigarettes worldwide were seized thanks to the information we shared.”

The event is open for the media. For more information about the summit or to register, please visit https://events.economist.com/events-conferences/emea/global-illicit-trade-summit-2018-middle-east/

About the Economist Events

Economist Events, the organiser of the summit and part of The Economist, has hosted over 80 events annually across more than 30 countries on topics that convene world-class thought leaders on a range of strategic business issues.

For more information: https://events.economist.com/

Press enquiries:
Zeba Ahmad, zeba@mediaart-me.com, +971 50 4942989

1 Global Illicit Trade Environment Index 2018 released by The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) and the Economist Intelligence Unit 

© Press Release 2018

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