Davos Debate on Globalization
Thursday 26th January 2012 - 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Thursday 26 January
This session was conducted under the Chatham House Rule.
Has globalization finally reached its economic and political limits?
- As the various protests show, successful globalization is still a work in progress.
- A fairer form of globalization needs to embrace equitable trade, gender equality and better access to what society can offer for the majority of citizens.
- All parties need to engage in dialogue, but one that is not framed as opposition to globalization per se.
In Davos in 2000, two months after the anti-globalization riots in Seattle, initiatives were launched to help institutions at the national and international levels to tackle the downsides of globalization. Twelve years on, protests are flaring up again as citizens demonstrate against what they see as the culpability of the rich for the global financial crisis. The various Occupy movements, styling themselves as representatives of 99% of the global population, blame the wealthy 1% for the world’s ills.
Globalization may have helped millions of people in China escape poverty as multinational companies built global supply chains and poured investment dollars into the country. But similar benefits have not really flowed elsewhere, although other members of the BRIC – Brazil, Russia and India – have also reaped some rewards. As the new protests show, successful globalization remains very much a work in progress.
Has globalization reached its limits? Where does it go from here? The answers are not clear.
A fairer form of globalization needs to embrace equitable trade, gender equality and better access to what society can offer. As things stand today, global capitalism is not working in the interests of the overall world population. In 1997, there was talk of the need to commit to a new global architecture. But this did not happen. The level of frustration and desperation even in wealthy countries like the United States should not be underestimated. Those in power who ignore such realities do so at their peril.
What is clear is that all parties need to engage in dialogue. But it must be done in the context of an understanding that globalization and capitalism are not one and the same. Nor should the dialogue be framed as opposition to globalization per se. Rather, it should be made clear that the opposition is to a form of globalization that produces more losers than winners – with the few winners failing to share the gains.
The new globalization is not simply a matter of giving emerging markets or the BRIC countries a bigger say in world affairs. As it is, the G20 has yet to fully embrace a global approach to the problem of equity and fairness in the distribution of the world’s resources and capital flows. There are too many different interests in the G20, which are not being successfully bridged.
The current form of globalization is generating frustration even in developed countries. The vast majority of Americans, for example, have seen their incomes decline to a level not much different from what it was three decades ago. The world needs to establish a new path to globalization incorporating policies that enable more people to benefit from what is available.
This summary was written by Edward Girardet. The views expressed are those of certain participants in the discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participants or of the World Economic Forum.
Copyright 2012 World Economic Forum
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Keywords: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012, Davos, Klaus Schwab, great transformations, new models, economics,
H.R.H. Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Prince of Saudi Royal Family; Chairman, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Saudi Arabia
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, Netherlands
Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development of South Africa
SaKong Il, Special Envoy of the Republic of Korea
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University, USA
Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, Director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Yale University, USA; Foundation Board Member
Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon
Director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Yale University, USA
BA in Economics, National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico; MA and PhD in Economics, Yale University. 1...
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Professor, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University, USA
1964, BA, Amherst College; 1967, PhD, MIT. Formerly with: Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT; Oxford; Wo...
Minister of Economic Development of South Africa
Formerly: led organized labour negotiations on policy in South Africa; involved in drafting accords ...
Executive Director, Greenpeace International, Netherlands
Kumi Naidoo is Honorary President of Civicus: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, which has a ...
H.R.H. Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud
Prince of Saudi Royal Family; Chairman, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Saudi Arabia
Studied at Princeton, Cambridge and Georgetown universities. 1972-77, Adviser to Royal Court; 1977, ...
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Korea International Trade Association (KITA), Republic of Korea
1964, degree, Seoul National University; 1966, MBA and 1969, PhD, University of California, Los Ange...