In 1997, for the first time in history, global mergers and acquisitions topped 1 trillion dollars - almost 10 times the value of all takeovers at the outset of this decade. UNCTAD revealed that 79% of all foreign direct investment to the South is now in the form of corporate acquisitions and a parallel US government report advises that 40-45% of all manufacturing sales are between subsidiary and parent multinationals. 1 The multilateral agreement on investment (MAI) currently being negotiated by industrialized countries behind closed doors, if adopted, could be the final blow to national sovereignty and signal the de facto ascendancy of transnational enterprises to the political control of the world's economy. During 1997, the life industry was also active in consolidating its power over the world's biological resources...
*The world's top 10 agrochemical corporations accounted for 82% of the global agrochemical sales in 1996. Sales reached US $30.5 billion last year, up more than 15% since 1994.
*The top 10 seed corporations control approximately 40% of the commercial seed market, valued at approximately (US) $15 billion.
*The world pharmaceutical market is an estimated $251 billion; the top 10 enterprises control approximately 36% of the global market. The top 20 drug companies control 57%.
*By the end of 1997, the top 10 veterinary medicine corporations are expected to hold 63% of the total worldwide market.