poor countries benefit from globalisation?
The latest round of World Trade Organisation meetings has opened in Cancun, Mexico.
One of the key issues under discussion will be how poorer countries can benefit from the increasing globalisation of markets.
countries, including those in Africa, have always maintained that they get a raw deal from
the global trading system and that WTO rules tend to favour richer nations.
comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
The row over agriculture subsidies shows that the poor need more
globalisation instead of less of it
The USA and other
rich countries should spend at least half of 320 billion dollars they spend to subsidize
their own farmers for the ones in the poor countries. And then ask to open up the
agriculture markets globally.
Fair trade, equal
treatment to all nations has to be the base of globalization. We do not want those violent
activists in Mexico. We are a country that loves peace and violent manifestation is not
one of our values. Activists go back to your countries and get to work.
After what the EU
and US have been up to in terms of agriculture, I think the WTO should be disbanded. There
is no point anymore the US won't move the EU won't move and in the mean time billions of
people are suffering. The WTO was a good idea, it might even be again, but not until the
EU and US change there attitude.
I think rich
people are the only ones gaining from globalisation. When you look at the world today, we
can clearly see the huge gap between people in the developing world and the people in the
developed world. There are people who don't have clothes and then there are people who
have hundreds of clothes and shoes. The focus of globalisation should be to distribute
wealth among everyone so that everyone has an opportunity to live a descent life. But the
west is only looking to gain more capital even from the struggling poor countries. That's
very sad and pathetic.
The main result
of globalisation will be the impoverishment of workers in the developed world. The
corporations sent all our manufacturing jobs overseas, now they are sending all our high
tech jobs that were supposed to replace the manufacturing jobs to India. If we let
corporations and governments have their way the future for developed world workers is
Third world wages.
whose leaders can manage their country well can benefit from globalisation
whose leaders can manage their country well can benefit from globalisation. If they behave
like crooks they can never achieve anything accept poverty for their people.
countries should fulfil the promises they made at earlier summits. They should realise
'Charity always begins at home'. So if they want developing countries to reform, they
should stop subsidising their rich farmers.
should be embraced in true spirit not the convenient way rich counties see fit. Rich
countries should come out of colonization hang over and start accepting the fact that the
planet "EARTH" belongs to all - not few Western Powers.
could benefit from globalisation but not in its present form. I am sick and tired of
government programmes for education and health being cut in Africa. Water is being
privatised on the continent as well as other poor countries leaving the poor to drink
dirty and unsafe water. That would never be tolerated in the West. Corruption goes on and
in most cases is encouraged by these multinationals. I don't see how these IMF and World
Bank economists keep using statistics to say countries such as Senegal, Uganda are
progressing (lower budget deficits etc). I wish they could visit and witness the abject
poverty in these countries. It's a shame.
export cheap raw materials and their workers assemble products that will later be imported
at 10 times their cost. When corporations find lower wages through corrupt governments,
they move the jobs to even poorer nations. Third World farmers compete with highly
industrialised, genetically improved and subsidised crops. Many have reverted to
sustenance agriculture. Globalisation is increasing the gap between haves and have-nots,
creating a potentially dangerous social scenario throughout the world for the future.
There is no stopping the process until corporations stop chasing short-term profits and
realise that the more people have a decent quality of life, the more customers they will
have in the long run.
Why do we always
see the negative side of globalisation? Yes, economic globalisation has yet to create an
even playing field. However, look at the benefits of global cultural, social and political
exchange. We are all learning more and more about each other every day, bringing a greater
global understanding of ourselves.
can only benefit from globalisation if the WTO recognises the peculiarities of most of
these developing countries, i.e. small market, dependence on a mono-crop etc and as such
the need for special and differential treatment. Unless this issue is resolved then trade
liberalisation and globalisation will continue to have more adverse effects on developing
countries than advantages.
Sure! However, many poor countries, especially African countries, need to make conscious efforts towards reorganising their countries in order to benefit from globalisation. Globalisation requires good governance, prudent management of scarce resources and the adoption of new and innovative approaches toward production and service delivery in order to be competitive at the global level. Poor countries are yet to consider investments in new and innovative technologies as the first step toward benefiting from globalisation. Joachim Arrey, Ossing, Cameroon
I don't have a
problem with globalisation or free trade per say. What I do have a problem with is the
hypocritical way in which the developed world is undertaking the process. It's a do as I
say but not as I do policy. The US and Europe needs to stop subsidising agriculture and
certain key industries. If they refuse to do that then they should stop demanding that the
developing world open up their markets.
benefit large international corporations rather than the local community
The world should
be focusing on fair trade, not free trade. WTO policies benefit large international
corporations rather than the local community. The well being of the farmer or tradesperson
should be the main consideration. WTO policies favour the wealthy, large companies which
care about nothing but profits. Environmental safeguards and worker welfare should be
protected at all costs.
globalisation help the poor? Maybe a little bit... but boy does it help the rich!!
Well, the WTO is
a frontal organisation for the official exploitation of poor countries. A saga of modern
day colonisation. This organisation does nothing but steal from the beggars and fill the
pockets of the rich with a few more pennies, leaving the poor to die.
Certainly the WTO
will help poor countries provided that there is no protectionism. Eliminating
protectionism in the WTO would be perfect, but I doubt it will ever happen and we poor
will remain so forever.
Free trade will
be allowed only so far as it does not damage the market share of the big players
will only benefit from globalisation by receiving the crumbs from a bigger loaf of bread
and providing cheap labour for multinational companies. The pecking order will remain the
same. Free trade will be allowed only so far as it does not damage the market share of the
only benefits the rich countries. It's them who came out with the term
The problem is
never simple to solve. In the UK is that shoppers want the lowest price and the greatest
choice. I was in Tesco's last night and in the fruit and veg section, mange-tout, sweet
corn and carrots were produced in Africa and flown to the UK. I doubt if the growers were
paid a fair price and the pollution involved must have been terrible. Trade in exotic
goods is not the problem (unless you fly them everywhere), people must understand that
paying a fair price is needed to redress the balance, but the EU and US must stop the
The answer is no.
For example, Mexico will lose about 25 million agriculture jobs over the next few decades
as a result of NAFTA, because they cannot compete with US farmers. These people cannot
depend on manufacturing because many factories in Mexico are closing down and moving to
China for cheaper labour. So more Mexicans will illegally cross the border into the US,
however with American jobs disappearing at a rapid rate to lower paid workers in India,
Russia and the Philippines they won't find much to do here either. The Indians, Russians
and Filipinos will soon lose these jobs to countries with even lower labour costs. I
predict a future of constant economic booms and busts for all nations, rich or poor, as
this constant cycle of moving jobs around the globe to benefit from ever lower labour
costs continues. Other than the corporations no one will benefit.
will only benefit those willing to make a fair bargain. Those countries who want something
for nothing will always complain.
"globalisation" is used as a synonym for capitalism, then the poor countries
will continue to be exploited by the wealthy nations. However, if
"globalisation" is used to redistribute the wealth of the rich nations to those
impoverished ones, the answer is obviously "yes": poor countries will benefit.
It all hangs on the definition of the vague term "globalisation", and in what
context it is being used and by whom.
Of course poor
countries will benefit from free trade. The reason they don't benefit now is because trade
is not yet free. There is free trade in industrial produce (which is good for the
industrialised world) but there is no free trade in agricultural produce (which is bad for
everyone but worse for the non-industrialised poor). That's the simple problem that must
be solved at Cancun. If it is, Cancun will be a huge success.
simple. Unless we, the developed countries, don't provide a fairer and more equitable
world trade environment, then the poor countries may start to take the law into their own
hands. We will reap what we sow.
I don't think it
will be that simple. Unless corruption can be abolished, the people of these poorer
countries will never truly benefit from any help from the west.
Yes they can, but
only if the process of globalisation involves genuinely free and fair trade. One of the
greatest injustices at the present time is the huge subsidies which farmers in Europe, the
USA and Japan receive. This corrupts world market prices, makes life impossible for
farmers in the developing world and directly contributes to world hunger. If WTO can start
listening a bit more to the governments of Brazil, South Africa and other developing
countries, rather than the apologists for major multinational corporations, we might start
to get somewhere.
should open up their markets
With 4.4% last
year, the OECD nation with the highest rate of economic growth was New Zealand, which is
by far the most unprotected economy in the developed world. All countries should open up
their markets; even developing ones. Furthermore, positive discrimination should not be
used as it encourages uncompetitive industries to develop. If countries were allowed to
succeed completely on their own merits, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
commodifies resources (water) that sustain life in poor countries. This has profound and
potentially catastrophic implications for rural, agrarian communities. As it was shaped by
the World Bank and IMF, multinational interests were far too great a factor in the shaping
of policy. Combined with widespread corruption among the political and bureaucratic elites
in countries (e.g. India and Mexico), WTO policies do not achieve the economic
"trickle down" necessary to stabilise these governments, leading to greater
political and social instability. If "equality of all men" loses to the interest
to accumulate capital for multinational market expansion, then the WTO has failed in
not just a post-war phenomenon: it has been a fact since the age of sail, and has resulted
in the wild prosperity of the Americas, the East-Asian 'Tigers' and it is currently
benefiting India amongst others. While there is room for some cultural protectionism
(Canada and France are great proponents of this), open markets, sensible property
ownership laws, and protection of copyright are necessary steps for any country's economic
As a citizen of
one of the poorest countries in the World, I can say with authority that market
globalisation has not helped the citizens of the Third World. Sixty percent of my
country's budget is subsidised by the EU, Japan and American funds, and we have no local
industry to speak of, since the government was forced by the IMF to privatise as many
state-owned firms as they can. Most of these firms ended up owned by firms from the
developed countries. The results are high unemployment, political instability and full
ownership of our economy by foreigners.
As it is
conceived today, "globalisation" mainly means that the most powerful
corporations from developed countries will have easier access to underdeveloped countries'
resources. The world was unbalanced before; this so-called globalisation will likely make
it even more unbalanced, resulting in more suffering across poor nations.
The whole issue
revolves on how we value human life. We don't live in a world where the free international
markets are operating on a level playing field. Multinational companies have enormous
power. Gandhi was right; each poor country needs to develop its own strengths from the
grassroots upwards and not be swallowed up by the world market place. With the advent of
internet technology the sharing of information through the support of voluntary
organisations such as Oxfam should be so much easier than ever before.
globalisation argument is flawed from the start. The big corporations siphon money and
resources from developing countries and don't put anything back to help the local
populations. Globalisation could work if corporations gave a fair deal to developing
nations, and not sucked them dry. There is a big difference between free trade and fair
trade. Free trade benefits no-one except the corporations; Fair trade benefits everyone.
Paul Weaver says "Globalisation redistributes wealth from richer countries to poorer
countries". This could not be further from the truth, otherwise developing countries
would be a lot better off already.
To Paul Weaver,
UK. Globalisation encourages poorer countries to stay poor so they can attract
multinationals. If a Gambian worker costs £5k then another country will soon offer their
workers for £4k, and another will then offer theirs for £3k, etc. The only winners are
the multinationals who make even more profits for their shareholders and directors in the
Of course, assuming they have a stable government. Jobs get outsourced from
the UK, where a helpdesk person, equipment, training, managing etc. costs £50,000 a year,
to Gambia where they cost £5,000 a year. That £5k in Gambia is an above average wage,
and the money is injected into the local economy. Globalisation redistributes wealth from
richer countries to poorer countries.