Globalisation: Friend or Foe?

South-East AsiaGlobalisation today has become synonymous with the term ‘development’. Various factors have propelled the era of globalisation. Gone are the days when we believed in non-alignment and the concept of remaining independent. ‘Inter-dependency’ is the new mantra of the present age.

True, globalisation is the means for emancipation, for removal of poverty, illiteracy and the promise of a better, brighter and a liberated world. The question then to be asked is “has the promise been fulfilled?” To find the answer to this major question we need to look away from the western world and move towards the Third world countries.

Major regions of the third world countries have adopted the practice of globalisation and some have emerged as winners and many as losers. Looking into the developed countries among the other still developing countries there is maybe just a small hope that all may achieve victory one day.

The ‘Little Tigers’ of South Asia namely Thailand, Japan and South Korea have emerged as some of the most successful players in this game of globalisation. The equal and successful distribution of the growth further adds to this success.

Due to this, the South Asian region today holds an important place in the foreign policies of the Western World. Globalisation as we can see then leads to Intra-Firm trade, rise of world exports in the G.D.P, increase in the foreign direct investments and a major role in the international politics.

However, globalisation in not all encompassing, and some countries still have to face the challenges it poses. The major area of concern is the increasing inequality between the rural and the urban sectors. The disparity continues and grows and the need therefore is to readdress the pattern of growth to remove such disparities.

One has to remember South Asia comprises not just of the little tigers but there are players like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the rest. The G.D.P of some of these countries keep growing over the years but then like Randhir Singh says “Who is actually growing?”

Globalisation in many of these countries could not succeed because of the imitation of the pattern in the Western World. Each country has its own set of Political systems but the rapid pursuation of globalisation based on the pattern of the Western model maybe led to a structural crisis. This, in my opinion is one of the serious flaw in the aspect of globalisation in the developing countries.

The concept of ‘neo-colonialism’ is what follows globalisation where the country’s policies are altered to favor the interest of MNC’s and TNC’s. This leads to political hegemony and monopoly of power as such resulting in a threat to the sovereignty of a state.

The need of the hour then is to take the opportunities provided by globalisation and use it for the benefit of one’s own country. South Asia today requires more cooperation and increase in the spirit of regional politics in the positive aspect to emerge as winners. The Western World is not the only kid in the bloc and what we need along with globalisation is an egalitarian ‘development strategy, equal opportunities and pursuance of reforms further and faster to achieve the best results.’

Deepti Tamang