sábado, diciembre 17, 2005

ETC Group. New Issue on Corporative Concentration & the rise of nanotechnologies.

ETC Group
News Release
16 December 2005
ETC Group Releases New Report
on Corporate Power, Oligopoly, Inc. 2005

As governments at the 6th WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong bristle with the thorny politics of trade, the report that ETC Group releases
today, Oligopoly, Inc. 2005, serves as a reminder that what looks like buying and selling between countries is most often the
redistribution of capital among subsidiaries of the same parent multinational corporation.´
ETC Group's new report is available at www.etcgroup.org
In Oligopoly, Inc. 2005 ETC Group revisits the sectors analyzed in Oligopoly, Inc. 2003 and finds that corporate concentration - not
only in food and agriculture, but in all sectors related to the products and processes of life - has increased remarkably since the
last review two years ago. Since then: * the world's top 10 seed companies have increased their control from one-third to one-half of the global seed trade.

* the top 10 biotech enterprises have raised their share from just over half to nearly three-quarters of world biotech sales
* the market share of the top 10 pesticide manufacturers rose modestly, from 80 to 84%, but industry analysts predict that only
three companies will survive the next decade
* The top 10 pharmaceutical companies control almost 59% market share of the world's leading 98 drug firms (previously the top 10 accounted for 53% market share of 118 companies) Hope Shand, ETC Group's research director, observes, "It comes as no surprise that corporate concentration has increased dramatically since ETC Group's Oligopoly, Inc. 2003 report. The trend line is distressing and the predictions of new mergers and greater concentration are alarming. What we are witnessing is ever more concentrated control over every aspect of life."

As the input-ers and the output-ers battle for survival and supremacy, ETC Group's report shows that a subterranean struggle is
underway at the nano-scale to control the fundamental building blocks of life and nature. Corporate investment in nanobiotechnology (or,
synthetic biology) could give ultimate control to a very different set of corporate actors. In the coming decades, nano-scale technologies, particularly synthetic biology, could make geography, raw materials, and even labour, irrelevant.
ETC Group's executive director Pat Mooney explains, "In a very real sense, technology is poised to surpass trade as the defining feature
of comparative advantage in the 21st century. While corporate concentration dominates commodity trade, proprietary technologies
spanning multiple industrial sectors are the royal flush - the winning hand that beats all. The message for Hong Kong is clear:
Technology Trumps Trade." In particular, countries in the global South need to consider both corporate concentration and emerging
technology trends to avoid dead-end trade deals.
On December 12th in Hong Kong, ETC Group reported on a study prepared for the South Centre that looks at the potential impact of new nano- scale technologies on Commodity Dependent Developing Countries and argues that "technology will trump trade" in the 21st century. The report can be downloaded from www.southcentre.org.
For more information:
Hope Shand and Kathy Jo Wetter (USA)
tel: +1 (919) 960-5223
Pat Mooney (Ottawa)
tel: +1 (613) 241-2267
Silvia Ribeiro (Mexico)
tel: +52 55 55 632 664

The Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration, ETC Group,
is dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of
cultural and ecological diversity and human rights. ETC Group is also
a member of the Community Biodiversity Development and Conservation
Programme (CBDC). The CBDC is a collaborative experimental initiative
involving civil society organizations and public research
institutions in 14 countries. The CBDC is dedicated to the
exploration of community-directed programmes to strengthen the
conservation and enhancement of agricultural biological diversity.
CBDC website is www.cbdcprogram.org All ETC Group publications are
available on our website: www.etcgroup.org

miércoles, diciembre 14, 2005

New Report on Nantechnologies. Allianz/ OECD

Nanotechnologies are being spoken of as the driving force behind a new industrial revolution. Both private and public-sector spending are constantly increasing. Spending on public research has reached levels of well over EUR 3 billion world-wide, but private sector spending is even faster—it is expected to exceed government spending in 2005. Nanotechnologies will be a major technological force for change in shaping Allianz’s business environment across all industrial sectors in the foreseeable future and are likely to deliver substantial growth opportunities. The size of the market for nanotechnology products is already comparable to the biotechnology sector, while the expected growth rates over the next few years are far higher. At the same time, scientists have raised concerns that the basic building blocks of
nanotechnologies—particles smaller than one billionth of a meter—pose a potential new class of risk to health and the environment. Allianz calls for a precautionary approach based on risk research and good risk management to minimize the likelihood of nanoparticles bringing a new dimension to personal
injury and property damage losses or posing third party liability and product-recall risks.

The Allianz Center for Technology and Allianz Global Risks, in co-operation with the OECD International Futures Programme, has reviewed the likely economic impact, investment possibilities, and potential risks of nanotechnologies. This report analyses the opportunities and risks from the perspective of the Allianz Group.
The opinions expressed in this report are those of the Allianz Group and do not engage theOECD or its Member governments.