Mon | Jun 18, 2018

Jamaica ranks poor on Global Illicit Trade Environment Index

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2018 | 12:12 AM

Jamaica has ranked 69th out of 84 countries on the Global Illicit Trade Environment Index, which classifies states on the extent that they enable or prevent illegal trade.

With a score of 43.7 out of 100, Jamaica is considered to be an enabler of illicit trade. Jamaica is not the only Caribbean state among the last 16 on the index, with the Dominican Republic ranked 71st, Trinidad and Tobago ranked 75th, and Belize positioned at 77th.

Finland ranks first in the Index with a score of 85.6 out of 100, just barely ahead of the United Kingdom. The rest of the top 10 includes a handful of European countries (Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark and Germany), along with the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) and The Economist Intelligence Unit released the report last week.

"The Index provides essential information to help policymakers better understand the regulatory environment and economic circumstances that encourage illicit trade," said Jeffrey Hardy, director general at TRACIT.

"Illicit trade not only hurts consumers and takes revenue away from governments, it threatens the security of nations by supporting transnational criminal syndicates and terrorist groups, and governments and the private sector must work together to fight it," Hardy added.

Deputy director general of TRACIT, Stefano Betti, said that policymakers and stakeholders can use the index as a tool to make informed decisions and formulate effective strategies to address the serious threats posed by illicit trade against the "health and security of our societies.

"Economies that are at the top concentrate on implementation and enforcement and they need to provide leadership to help countries with lower scores to build a better environment to prevent illicit trade."

According to Betti, TRACIT has taken the index data to develop recommended changes and strategies to tackle illicit trade across sectors and to address human trafficking. "The urgency to address illicit trade is clear and it's time to prioritise and implement solutions that will have a sustained impact, " Betti said.

 

TRACIT calls for governments across the globe to:

 

- Commit to illicit trade related treaties.

- Tighten controls on money laundering.

- Reduce corruption.

- Rationalise tax policies

- Strengthen law enforcement efforts.

- Protect intellectual property.

- Enhance inter-agency cooperation