Of the world's richest 100 entities, 69 are corporations, not governments

By agency reporter
October 18, 2018

Top corporations continue to accrue revenues far in excess of most governments, figures compiled by Global Justice Now show. Comparing 2017 revenues, 69 of the top 100 economic entities are corporations rather than governments. The top 10 corporations – a list which includes Walmart, Toyota and Shell as well as several Chinese corporations – raked in over $3 trillion last year.

When it comes to the top 200 entities, the gap between corporations and governments gets even more pronounced: 157 are corporations. Walmart, Apple and Shell all accrued more wealth than even fairly rich countries like Russia, Belgium, Sweden.

Global Justice Now released the figures in order to put pressure on the British government during UN human rights council negotiations this week to take forward a new binding UN Treaty to force transnational corporations to abide by human rights responsibilities. Campaigners are calling for the treaty to be legally enforceable at a national and global level. Britain, which currently sits on the UN human rights council, has traditionally been hostile to the treaty, which is supported by Ecuador, South Africa and many other developing countries.

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. Yet there are very few ways that citizens can hold these corporations to account for their behaviour. Rather, through trade and investment deals, it is corporations which are able to demand that governments do their bidding. 

“The UK government has facilitated this rise in corporate power – through tax structures, trade deals and even aid programmes that help 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 not to block this international demand for justice.”

* See the figures comparing the revenues of countries and corporations here

* Global Justice Now https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/

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