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Illicit drugs valued at 0.9% of entire world GDP: UN
www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-29 17:50:18

    BANGKOK, June 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Global illicit drugs valued at theretail level in 2003 was estimated to reach 0.9 percent of the world gross domestic product (GDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said here Wednesday.

    The value of the global illicit drug market for the year 2003 was estimated at 13 billion US dollars at the production level, 94billion dollars at the wholesale level, and 322 billion dollars atthe retail level, said the UNODC 2005 World Drug Report launched in Bangkok on Wednesday.

    "This (measured at retail prices) is 0.9 percent of the world entire GDP, and higher than GDP of 88 percent of the countries in the world, higher than GDP of 163 countries," John Doyle, UNODC'sregional project coordinator, told reporters at a meeting launching the report.

    He noted that the largest profit of drug business was made at the retail level and the lowest at the production level, which stood only an average 4 percent of the final retailing value.

    In economic terms, North America was the world's largest drug market, accounting for 44 percent of the world drug sales, followed by Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa.

    "The whole sale of drugs, measured at wholesale prices, was equivalent to 1.3 percent of all global exports ... and 14 percentof global agricultural exports," said Doyle.

    The largest market is cannabis herb, valued at 113 billion dollars, followed by cocaine, the opiates and cannabis resin, valued at 71 billion dollar, 65 billion and 29 billion dollars respectively on retail level.

    The amphetamine-type stimulant markets together amounted to 44 billion dollars, according to the report.

    It is the first time that the UNODC has estimated the world drug market through economic terms.

    A total of 200 million people, or 5 percent of the world's population age 15-64, have used drugs at least once in the last 12months, said the report, noting that the number was 15 million higher than last year's estimate.

    "Most of the categories of (measuring world drug problems), consumption, production, trafficking, and demand treatment, have all increased," said Doyle. Enditem

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