Globalization pulls the countries out, from their detachment into the competitive world. A journey towards new collaborations and unity, it has changed the world into a global village. Both distance and isolation have been terrifically reduced.
Globalization integrates trade, technology, investments, and the mobile factors of production like labor and capital. All types of goods ranging from Coca-Cola, Sprite, Louis Philippe shirts, Marie Claire bags, Police sunglasses, to Adidas and Nike shoes are all available in every market globally, all credit to globalization.
Globalization has been quite a debatable subject. While some are of the opinion that it has a lot of ill-effects upon the society, there exists others who feel exactly the opposite. Some opine that it has made life extremely easier and comfortable. It has however affected the consumers and businesses differently. For a better picture, let us take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of globalization.
Advantages of Globalization
Considered as one of the most crucial advantages, globalization has led to the generation of numerous employment opportunities. Companies are moving towards the developing countries to acquire labor force. This obviously caters to employment and income generation to the people in the host country. Also, the migration of people, which has become easier has led to better jobs opportunities.
Free Movement of Labour
Increased labour migration gives advantages to both workers and recipient countries. If a country experiences high unemployment, there are increased opportunities to look for work elsewhere. This process of labour migration also helps reduce geographical inequality. This has been quite effective in the EU, with many Eastern European workers migrating west.
Also, it helps countries with labour shortages fill important posts. For example, the UK needed to recruit nurses from the far east to fill shortages.
A very critical advantage that has aided the population is the spread of education. With numerous educational institutions around the globe, one can move out from the home country for better opportunities elsewhere. Thus, integrating with different cultures, meeting and learning from various people through the medium of education is all due to globalization. Developing countries or labour-intensive countries have benefited the most.
The onset of international trade has given rise to intense competition in the markets. No longer does one find limited number of commodities available. A particular commodity may fetch hundreds of options with different prices. The product quality has been enhanced so as to retain the customers. Today the customers may compromise with the price range but not with the quality of the product. Low or poor quality can adversely affect consumer satisfaction.
Globalization has brought in fierce competition in the markets. Since there are varied products to select from, the producer can sustain only when the product is competitively priced. There is every possibility that a customer may switch over to another producer if the product is priced exorbitantly. ‘Customer is the King’, and hence can dictate the terms to a very large extent. Therefore, affordable pricing has benefited the consumer in a great way.
Free Movement of Capital
Capital, the backbone of every economy, is of prime importance for the proper functioning of the economy. Today, transferring money through banks is possible just by the click of a button, all due to the electronic transfer that has made life very comfortable. Many huge firms are investing in the developing countries by setting up industrial units outside their home country. This leads to Foreign Direct Investment, which helps in promoting economic growth in the host country.
Considered as the wheel of every business organization, connectivity to various parts of the world is no more a serious problem. Today with various modes of transportation available, one can conveniently deliver the products to a customer located at any part of the world. Besides, other infrastructural facilities like, distribution, supply chain, and logistics have become extremely efficient and fast.
Purchase and sale of commodities are not the only two transactions involved in international trade. Today, international trade has broadened its horizon with the help of business process outsourcing. Sometimes in order to concentrate on a particular segment of business it is a practice to outsource certain services. Some countries practice free trade with minimal restrictions on EXIM (export-import) policies. This has proved beneficial to businesses.
Gross Domestic Product, commonly known as GDP, is the money value of the final goods and services produced within the domestic territory of the country during an accounting year. As the market has widened, the scope and demand for a product has increased. Producers familiarize their products and services according to the requirements of various economies thereby tapping the untapped markets. Thus, the final outcome in terms of financial gain enhances the GDP of the country. If statistics are of any indication, the GDP of the developing countries has increased twice as much as before.
Increased Economies of Scale
Production is increasingly specialized. Globalization enables goods to be produced in different parts of the world. This greater specialization enables lower average costs and lower prices for consumers.
Disadvantages of Globalization
Globalization has given rise to more health risks and presents new threats and challenges for epidemics. A very customary example is the dawn of HIV/AIDS. Having its origin in the wilderness of Africa, the virus has spread like wildfire throughout the globe in no time.
Loss of Culture
Conventionally, people of a particular country follow its culture and traditions from time immemorial. With large number of people moving into and out of a country, the culture takes a backseat. People may adapt to the culture of the resident country. They tend to follow the foreign culture more, forgetting their own roots. This can give rise to cultural conflicts.
Uneven Wealth Distribution
It is said that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. In the real sense, globalization has not been able to reduce poverty. Instead it has led to the accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few developed economies. Therefore the gap between the elite and the underprivileged seems to be a never ending road, eventually leading to inequality.
Though globalization has opened new avenues like wider markets and employment, there still exists a disparity in the development of the economies. Structural unemployment owes to the disparity created. Developed countries are moving their factories to foreign countries where labor is cheaply available. The host country generates less revenues, and a major share of the profits fall into the hands of the foreign company. They make humongous profits thereby creating a huge income gap between the developed and the developing countries.
Opening the doors of international trade has given birth to intense competition. This has affected the local markets dramatically. In recent times the standard of living has improved. People are therefore ready to shell out extra money for a product that may be available at a lower price. This is because of the modern marketing techniques like advertising and branding. The local players thereby suffer huge losses as they lack the potential to advertise or export their products on a large scale. Therefore the domestic markets shrink.
Monopoly is a situation wherein only one seller has a say in a particular product or products. It is possible that when a product is the leader in its field, the company may begin to exploit the consumers. As there exists no close competitors, the leader takes full advantage of the sale of its product, which may later lead to illegal and unethical practices being followed. Monopoly is disastrous as it widens the gap between the developed and developing countries.
Strong demand for food and energy has caused a steep rise in commodity prices. Food price inflation has placed millions of the world’s poorest people at great risk.