Friday, September 03, 2004

True Globalization

Globalization has changed the global economy by breaking geographic barriers and allowing businesses to reach out to customers and supplier around the world. Lower operational costs and higher revenues have benefited the global organization. With the advent of newer communication technologies and less restrictive trade policies different world economies are better able to integrate and utilize their resources.

Here’s the flipside. All this liberalization has benefited another group of people. The one we would least consider while building such policies. They are the criminals, whose sole objective is to inflict harm and terror on society, both, for profit and pleasure. Surprising, isn’t it? With increasing globalization, governments are finding it all the more difficult to combat such criminals. The same policies and innovations that opened up new markets for businesses have also created new opportunities for criminals.

What kind of criminal activities have most benefited from globalization? Here are the top-five.

Arms Trafficking
Intellectual Property
Alien Smuggling
Money Laundering

(Read Five Wars of Globalization By Moisés Naím for additional information).

Governments are spending billions of dollars battling these activities and are still unsuccessful in controlling them. One primary reason is the lack of information sharing and coordination between the governments of the various countries. Why would countries that are quick in developing trade policies refuse to collaborate to control criminal activities? The biggest obstacle is a lack of trust amongst nations.

But, why doesn’t this lack of trust restrict trade? Because trading partners realize the benefits of working together. The benefits are far greater than any mistrust that might exist. Can nations realize similar benefits in controlling illegal activities? Yes, they can! And when they do that and join hands together, not just for business, but also for a better world, that’s when we have achieved true globalization.

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