Arguing against globalization is like disagreeing with the law of gravity

July 25, 2017 (LBO) – Muhammad bin Ibrahim, governor Bank Negara Malaysia, referring a famous quote by Kofi Annan in his opening remarks at IMF joint conference themed “Some Perspectives on Globalization and its Aftermath” said that significant and unprecedented positive developments were made possible by the forces of globalization.

“This includes lifting 500 million people from poverty and rapid transformation of countries from agricultural economies to industrial economies, and accelerating growth and productivity,” he said.

He also alluded to the dynamic issues the economies, financial systems and societies have confronted consequent to integration, interdependent and intertwining of economies brought about by globalization.

The Governor noted that while it has created winners, some have been marginalized as the fruits of globalization has not been equitably shared.

Between 1988 and 2011, the incomes of the poorest 10 percent increased by just US 65 dollars, while the incomes of the richest one percent increased nearly 200-fold.

In the advanced economies, workers railed against the intense competition from lower cost producers of manufactured goods such as Bangladesh, China and Vietnam.

He referred to the warning issued by IMF that global living standards will continue to fall, unless governments and businesses take measured efforts to put in place long-term solutions.

“We need to make globalization fairer by evenly distributing its benefits.”

Governor Ibrahim identified three major trends that influences how globalization is perceived; growing anti-globalization sentiments and rising populism; growing perception that globalization erodes national sovereignty, and the exponential speed of technological change has altered the global economic landscape.

Turn our backs on globalization, closing borders and cut ties, or withdrawing from international trade or financial agreements and commitments should not be the response to the challenges.

He concluded by asserting that globalization will likely work if we widen the horizon that touches positively on all segments of society and it is incumbent upon us to formulate policies and give greater attention to those most adversely impacted by this process.