Corporate Globalization

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The corporate globalization fact sheet reveals that around fifty-one of the world’s top hundred financial systems are corporations. Moreover, there are 63,000 transnational corporations globally, with 6,90,000 overseas associates. Over three quarters of all international companies are situated in North America, Japan and Western Europe and ninety nine of the hundred biggest international firms are from the industrialized nations.

The growth of corporate globalization is so huge that the annual turnover of Royal Dutch Shell is greater than Venezuela's Gross Domestic Product. Considering this calculation, Wal-Mart is bigger than Indonesia. General Motors is approximately equivalent to the size of New Zealand, Ireland and Hungary combined.

WTO and Global Trade

  • Since 1995, the year of WTO’s creation, the international organization has ruled that every environmental strategy it has analyzed is an unlawful business obstacle that must be removed or amended. The WTO also has ignored every fitness or food safety norm it has assessed.

    Countries whose norms were pronounced as trade obstacles by the WTO or which were simply intimidated with WTO actions have removed or amended their guidelines to fulfill WTO prerequisites.

  • WTO's 134 member nations have an equal authority but unofficially the decision-making is governed by the "Quad" comprising USA, European Union, Canada and Japan.

    Every member of the Quad signifies the company's concerns at the WTO and is precisely indulged in forming WTO guidelines. In the United States this is accomplished through certified ‘Trade Advisory Committees’ which are governed by the private sector.

  • To cite an example, the US International Trade Administration's Energy Advisory Committee has representative from oil, mining, gas and utility firms (Texaco, Enron, Halliburton and Freeport-McMoran are few such corporations).

  • 82% of the expanding export business and 68% of overseas monetary infusions is enjoyed by the top five of the global population in the developed economies while the bottom five of the world population get only 1%.

  • Around 70% of the world's population comprises women. The total estimate accounts for 1.3 billion of poor women. Globally, they are at the receiving end of the economic and monetary alteration and calamity caused by market factors and globalization.

Corporate Globalization and the weaker section of the society

The compelling data published by the Washington, D.C. located Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) compares the growth rates of the economies from 1980 to 2000. The results reveal that 89 nations witnessed their per capita rate of growth dip by five percentage points from 1960-1980 to the period 1980-2000. Only 14 nations witnessed their per capita rate of growth elevate by five percentage points from 1960-1980 to 1980-2000.

CEPR established that the dip in the growth has been so intense that individuals in 18 nations, including African countries, would have double the income of what they are earning at present provided they had sustained the growth rate in the last twenty years which they witnessed in that duration.

Further research by CEPR implemented similar approach to evaluate social indicators and established that the development in minimizing the infant mortality and growing literacy has slowed during the era of corporate globalization especially in developing economies. The CEPR hold the corporate friendly guidelines enforced by IMF and World Bank responsible for this. Some of the other factors are:
  • Liberalization of Business – The removal of tax protections for agriculture and trade in flourishing economies often results in mass discharge and dislocation of poor residing in rural areas. The corporate globalization has put the poor farmers in a situation where they find it difficult to compete with agricultural imports by the overseas markets.

  • Privatization of industries – The structural modification guidelines by IMF and World Bank permits the taking over of government-owned firms by private organizations. Pay cuts for workers in private firms is regular in such sector.

  • Reductions in government expenditure – Dip in government expenditure often minimize the capability of the government to facilitate services to the poor leading to rural dislocation and industrial discharge.

  • Enforcement of user charges – Costs on the utilization of services provided by the government such as schools, drinking water and health clinics leads to denial of right to use those services by the poor.

  • Export endorsement – Nations which implement the methods to endorse exports perform it at the cost of production for domestic requirements. In rural areas, the land of poor farmers is forcibly occupied by large plantations for growing their crops for overseas markets.

  • Sky-rocketing interest rates – High interest rates, however lucrative for overseas investors, wield a slowdown effect on national market resulting growth in unemployment. Small industries find it hard to survive in the market.

Corporate world and its profit seeking ideology

Corporate globalization program does not consider elevating the interests of the poor and concentrates more on its profit seeking ideology. Ambitious in their approach, they are in a quest of altering the entire Latin American continent trade into NAFTA-style business and investment pact and strengthening the IMF and World Bank's capability to inflict structural modification.

To minimize the avertable human misery, it is essential that the activists continue to strengthen the movement against corporate globalization.

Another world is indeed possible but right now the biggest challenge to be immediately met is to put the actions of corporate globalizers at halt and stop them from making the present situation worse.

Last Updated on 5/18/2011