Last year was a year of turbulence for everybody interested in international trade and movements over borders. We saw commodity price changes that nobody could foresee. We saw people movement due to different crises, taken to new levels. We saw politics going crazy in many countries. International media seemed surprised. What is going on?
What we saw was globalization. The real thing. Twenty years ago scientists and researches talked about globalization and I remember reading books about what globalization would look like. We didn’t know what it was. Nobody knew. Well, now we know.
Last year more than four billion people used the airline industry. There are more people on Earth with smartphones than people with access to clean water. Facebook, a social media network that didn’t exist twelve years ago had more than 1.5 billion users all around the world, connected together and interacting with each other. Imagine the power in that! The video of Korean rapper, PSY, doing his ‘Gangnam Style’ hit song has been viewed 2.522.012.876 times on YouTube – when you read this probably more – an Internet media channel that was introduced not more than ten years ago. This is another face of globalization.
There are challenges with globalization, no doubt about it, but also endless possibilities. We have only seen the very first crawling moments of the potential of internet and the information society. In the future the revolution will amaze us over and over again. I am convinced that in the long run this development will be a good one for the world, especially for the developing world.
Globalization has had a major impact on the area I write about in this blog. We are starting to see global value chains emerge in more and more production chains and supply chain security is today not something we talk about but a reality. We will have to do more in these fields in the future. International institutions will have to develop new standards and new models for a new kind of global trade, as an example there is an urgent need for new standards and models for e-Commerce. We need to start real development on models to handle a massive breakthrough of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises on the global trade level, how these companies can have full access to our trading systems while Government still ensuring safety and security. These are challenges for our nations but also for the major international institutions. We have done it before and we will do it again.
This is why globalization – and its possibilities and challenges – will become one of the topics that I will write a lot about in this blog over the following years. Globalization is not only the flavor of the day, it is the topic of the future. Some might even say that globalization is the new black.