Corporations have increased their wealth vis-à-vis countries according to new figures released by Global Justice Now. The campaign group found that 69 of the world’s top economic entities are corporations rather than countries in 2015*. They also discovered that the world’s top 10 corporations – a list that includes Walmart, Shell and Apple – have a combined revenue of more than the 180 ‘poorest’ countries combined in the list which include Ireland, Indonesia, Israel, Colombia, Greece, South Africa, Iraq and Vietnam.
The figures are worse than last year, when 63 of the top economic entities were corporations. When looking at the top 200 economic entities, the figures are even more extreme, with 153 being corporations.
Global Justice Now released the figures in order to increase pressure on the British government ahead of a UN working group, led by Ecuador, established to draw up a binding treaty to ensure transnational corporations abide by the full range of human rights responsibilities. Campaigners are calling for the treaty to be legally enforceable at a national and global level. Britain doesn’t support the process, and has repeatedly vetoed and opposed such proposal in the past.
Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:
“The vast wealth and power of corporations is at the heart of so many of the world’s problems – like inequality and climate change. The drive for short-term profits today seems to trump basic human rights for millions of people on the planet. These figures show the problem is getting worse.
“The UK government has facilitated this rise in corporate power – through tax structures, trade deals and even aid programmes that help big business. Their wholehearted support for the US-EU trade deal TTIP, is just the latest example of government help to big business. Disgracefully it also routinely opposes the call of developing countries to hold corporations to account for their human rights impacts at the UN. That’s why today we’re joining campaigns from across the world to tell the British government to stop blocking this international demand for justice.”
>>> Check out the full list comparing the revenues of countries and corporations <<<
* These figures have been taken from a direct comparison of the annual revenue of corporations and the annual revenue of countries. Sources: CIA World Factbook 2015 and Fortune Global 500.