The traditional basis of the processing technologies is profit generation from the transformation of either raw materials or intermediates, using know-how and energy, into marketable products. However, the establishment of both regional economic communities and raw material producer cartels has distorted and even invalidated the economic evaluation of processes in strict economic terms. Essentially, individual countries and regions are moving towards a state of economic protectionism based on specific strategic policies. Such policies are most evident and effective in the agricultural and energy sectors. Biotechnology is intimately linked with both these sectors and major biotechnological ventures have failed as a result of strategic economic changes. This paper examines the basis for the economic evaluation of novel biotechnological processes and seeks to identify politico-economic scenarios that will permit successful establishment of biotechnological processing ventures.