Global corporations are increasingly wealthier than many countries, with Walmart, Apple and Shell richer than Russia, Belgium and Sweden, according to research by the campaigning group Global Justice Now, which found that 69 of the world’s top 100 economic entities are corporations rather than countries in 2015
This compares with last year’s figures, when 63 of the top economic entities were corporations. When looking at the top 200 economic entities, three quarters (153) are corporations.
The group says the world’s top 10 corporations have a combined revenue of $285 trillion (£215 trillion), more than the 180 ‘poorest’ countries combined in the list which include Ireland, Indonesia, Israel, Colombia, Greece, South Africa, Iraq and Vietnam, which together total $280 trillion worth of revenues.
Walmart ranks as the 10th largest in the rankings valued at $482bn, followed by China’s electricity monopoly State Grid at number 14, China National Petroleum at 15 and Chinese oil firm Sinopec Group at 16. Apple ranked 26th valued at $234bn behind the 18th-placed Royal Dutch Shell, with Exxon Mobil at 21, Volkswagen at 22 and Toyota at 23.
Global Justice Now says it has 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.
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 group says its analysis and figures have been taken from a direct comparison of the annual revenue of corporations and the annual revenue of countries.
Corporations vs governments revenues: 2015 data for the top 30
|15||Corporation||China National Petroleum||$299,271,000,000|
|18||Corporation||Royal Dutch Shell||$272,156,000,000|
Details and the full list are here.