WTO Chief: Globalization is Fragile

June 15th, 2011
in Background, econ_news

globalization Econintersect:  According to Director-General Pascal Lamy of the WTO (World Trade Organization):

“The real challenge today is to change our way of thinking—not just our systems, institutions or policies. We need the imagination to grasp the immense promise—and challenge—of the interconnected world we have created. The future lies with more globalization, not less — more co-operation, more interaction between peoples and cultures, an even greater sharing of responsibilities and interests.”

Follow up:

According to Lamy

"Globalization dominates our era, but it is an increasingly fragile dominance. Even as global integration delivers enormous benefits — growing wealth, spreading technology, the rise of billions of people in the developing world — it also creates new risks — financial instability, economic imbalances, environmental stresses, growing inequalities, cyber penetration — that we seem to have difficulty managing."

He goes on to ask, "Is globalization outpacing — even undermining — our ability to manage it?"  He argues that the adjustment challenge is made harder because of the growing pressure on national social systems and policies.

According to Lamy "the biggest change is globalization's impact on the geopolitical landscape"...the simplistic North-South divide has given way to a more complex world of many different Souths and many different Norths.

This multipolar system is much more “democratic” than the old post-war order.  The days when a single or a few countries could design and direct the international system are gone

Although there is disquiet in many countries on globalization, according to Lamy the clock cannot be turned back.

"After removal of capital controls, 3.7 trillion dollars — one twentieth of the value of the world economy — is traded across borders every day.  The sheer scale of these transactions—and the exotic financial instruments in which they are now packaged and repackaged—makes it increasingly hard to understand the international financial system, let alone regulate it;  a long way from Bretton Woods."

He concludes by saying that:

"The future lies with more globalization, not less — more co-operation, more interaction between peoples and cultures, an even greater sharing of responsibilities and interests. Multilateralism may be messy, frustrating, two steps forward and one step back, but it is ultimately Unity in Diversity."


Source: The complete 2011 Panglaykim Memorial Lecture, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Article by Sanjeev Kulkarni

Sanjeev Kulkarni is an entrepreneur based in Pune, India. He worked for large organizations in board level position before venturing on his own. He is currently involved as an investor in health care software company and as an investor, mentor in an automation company. Very widely traveled, he has experience of working in different geographical areas with people of varying nationalities. He did his BS from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.



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