THERE is a link between poverty and the trade in counterfeit goods.
Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Premila Kumar said the increase in the trade of counterfeit goods was not unique to Fiji with sufficient data readily available which proved that countries with high levels of poverty recorded a huge trade in counterfeit materials.
She also said there were several factors contributing to the increase in counterfeit trade.
"In some cases the cost of genuine products are beyond the means of the average or low income consumer," she said.
"Poverty and ignorance are also factors contributing to the increasing counterfeit trade."
"And by ignorance I mean that sometimes consumers are duped by traders with fake products sold as genuine items at premium price. Fraudsters are way advanced and have managed to make fake products hard to differentiate from genuine items," said Mrs Kumar.
Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum also touched on the link between poverty and counterfeit trade in his opening address at the 34th International Organisation for Standardisation Consumer Policy Committee summit at Nadi earlier this week.
"Poverty, or local income levels, and obviously savvy marketing tactics also play a synergistic role," he said.
"In First World countries or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the chances of consumers with access to cheaper counterfeit or non-compliant goods is much lower than in countries where there are higher levels of poverty," said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.