Globalization: Causes, Consequences and Reflections
Globalization, a proverbial phenomenon observed mostly in the domains of commerce and culture, poses sweeping impact to the modern world and overall human experience. It is recognized as the expanding collaborations amongst interest groups, corporations, and countries that go beyond nation-state borders, as societies around the world experience an increased level of interdependence. In essence, it refers to the collective perception of "the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole" (R. Robertson, Globalization, 1992:8) This movement, some deems inevitable and irreversible, is manifested in the prevalence of multinational projects and the gradual integration of regional markets, which was resulted from rapid movements of information, labour, capital, products, and services. It is also reflected in the sizeable growth of world trade as percentage as Gross World Product (GWP) from 8.5% in 1970 to 16.2% in 2001(17).
The following discussion briefly outlines the causes, consequences, as well as the authors' conclusion of globalization. Consequences described herewith are focused on business and trading. Broader effects that take place in the cultural and political front, although equally significant, are not included.
The majority of research and debates points to technological advance as the first and foremost driving force for globalization. Granted, the improvement of technology drastically reduced the costs of communication and transportation, providing the backdrop of a closer-connected world. Apart from IT revolution, public policy is another imperative factor that determines the pace and direction of economic integration (18). Technological Innovation
The availability of low-cost, rapid communication and transportation fundamentally changed the business landscape, as the former enabled business to tap in larger markets, access more capitals, assets and technology, and the latter drove up the volume and frequency of foreign trades. Multinational corporations, who were notably benefited by this windfall of opportunities, capitalized on production of a greater scale and enjoyed substantial growth over the years, resulting in a prowess as seen today.
Additionally, the emergence of Internet spawned the brave new world of e-commerce, where of prolific exchange and trades occur in cyberspace that are boundless in time and place. Liberalization Policies
The establishment of international institutions, such as WTO, NAFTA, and EU, is Geoffrey Garrett rationalized the [2000: 22](19):
There is a credible argument that since the onset of the information technology revolution there is essentially nothing governments can do to stop global financial flows. On such view, there is no mystery to the spate of national-level moves to capital account liberalization in the 1990s; if capital controls don't work, why risk sending negative signals to the financial markets by persisting with them? Consequences
Consequences of globalization can generally be categorized into increased trading activities, increased investment activities, and altered relationship. Each of these categories includes a set of direct and indirect consequences. Many of the indirect consequences are usually result of imperfect attempts to globalize. These indirect consequences are often misunderstood as the direct consequences of globalization. Increased Trading Activities
Owing to improving technology, lowering import and export tariffs, signing of more liberal trade agreements and introduction of new international organizing bodies such as WTO and World Bank, the cost of trading internationally is decreasing. It follows naturally that companies have pursued the profit trails and increased their business activities across the traditional national borders. Standardization of Goods and Services
Trade as a result of globalization has...
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