BUYING THE WORLD

Switzerland has become one of the most important commodities trading centres in the world. We take an exclusive look behind the scenes of this powerful and secretive sector of industry.

In recent years, Switzerland has become the world’s most important distribution hub for the international commodities trade. Approximately one third of global crude oil trade and around half of agricultural commodities trade is effected in Geneva. The film shows how commodities dealers have profited from the economic growth of the last few years; how they operate globally and how they have recently been buying up mining companies and estates in developing countries. Looking at the example of Colombia, however, it is clear that not everyone is benefiting from the growing demand for coal, crude oil, wheat and soya. Many commodities are sourced in developing countries where there are hardly any democratic controls and corruption is a fact of everyday life. The demand for greater transparency in the commodities trade is consequently at the top of the political agenda. In an exclusive interview, the CEO of the world’s largest commodities company GlencoreXstrata takes a stand. He defends the sourcing of commodities in the developing world and rejects claims that Glencore pays no taxes in these countries.

Genre Current Affairs / Economy
Length 52‘ HD
Film by Andreas Schaffner
Production SRF
Original Title Wir kaufen uns die Welt – Das diskrete Geschäft der Schweizer Rohstoffhändler
Year 2014

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Switzerland has become one of the most important commodities trading centres in the world. We take an exclusive look behind the scenes of this powerful and secretive sector of industry.
In recent years, Switzerland has become the world’s most important distribution hub for the international commodities trade. Approximately one third of global crude oil trade and around half of agricultural commodities trade is effected in Geneva. The film shows how commodities dealers have profited from the economic growth of the last few years; how they operate globally and how they have recently been buying up mining companies and estates in developing countries. Looking at the example of Colombia, however, it is clear that not everyone is benefiting from the growing demand for coal, crude oil, wheat and soya. Many commodities are sourced in developing countries where there are hardly any democratic controls and corruption is a fact of everyday life. The demand for greater transparency in the commodities trade is consequently at the top of the political agenda. In an exclusive interview, the CEO of the world’s largest commodities company GlencoreXstrata takes a stand. He defends the sourcing of commodities in the developing world and rejects claims that Glencore pays no taxes in these countries.


Current Affairs / Economy
Length
52‘ HD
Film by
Andreas Schaffner
Production
SRF, 2014
Original title
Wir kaufen uns die Welt – Das diskrete Geschäft der Schweizer Rohstoffhändler