The term "globalization" has acquired considerable emotive force. Some view it as aprocess that is beneficial -a key to future world economic development– and alsoinevitable and irreversible. Others regard it with hostility, even fear, believing that itincreases inequality within and between nations, threatens employment and livingstandards and thwarts social progress. This brief offers an overview of some aspects of globalization and aims to identify ways in which countries can tap the gains of thisprocess, while remaining realistic about its potential and its risks.Globalization offers extensive opportunities for truly worldwide development but it is notprogressing evenly. Some countries are becoming integrated into the global economymore quickly than others. Countries that have been able to integrate are seeing faster growth and reduced poverty.Economic "globalization" is a historical process, the result of human innovation andtechnological progress. It refers to the increasing integration of economies around theworld, particularly through trade and financial flows. The term sometimes also refers tothe movement of people (labor) and knowledge (technology) across internationalborders. There are also broader cultural, political and environmental dimensions of globalization that are not covered here. At its most basic, there is nothing mysterious about globalization. The term has comeinto common usage since the 1980s, reflecting technological advances that have madeit easier and quicker to complete international transactions –
both trade and financialflows. It refers to an extension beyond national borders of the same market forces thathave operated for centuries at all levels of human economic activity –
village markets,urban industries, or financial centers.Globalization is not just a recent phenomenon. Some analysts have argued that theworld economy was just as globalized 100 years ago as it is today. But today commerceand financial services are far more...
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