Globalization hitting the man in the street

As the world is getting more and more accessible for everybody, a whole lot of possibilities emerge.  But, arm in arm with the possibilities comes a whole lot of new challenges.  Just to illustrate the issue:

  • Mixed marriage – Who’s jurisdiction to follow in a divorce and its intricacies?  We see more and more “kidnappings”.
  • Traffic – Traffic signs around the world have some things in common, and a lot of differences.  When will we see more standardization and more concerns about an internationalized traffic that does not always speak local language?
  • Customer service –  Previously, export industry had extra language and cultural skills among their employees.  Today, any business or public office need the same, but continue to ignore it.
  • Sport clubs – Even local sport clubs employ foreign athletes, without having necessary competencies to administer the growing complexity.
  • Labour market – A growing flow of labour across borders is fundamental to any labour market in imbalance, and the flow will only grow in quantity;  Countries have taken this into strategies, but fail to deliver on the ground.  Counties and local communities basically have failed to adopt to a present situation, and far from being prepared for the future.
  • Criminality – Police and law enforcement are continuously running behind a development where crime is among the most globalized of any activities.

So the essence is, globalization is here now, and making numerous daily problems for the man in the street.  It worries me that not even education has adequately adapted to this reality, educating future citizens.  And the older population has little or few options for updating themselves, other than coping the best they can. Hence we have all the frustration and friction.

Anders, from a cold spring evening in Gjøvik, Norway

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BRICS 30th Meeting – New Delhi

A new bank to be evaluated before they meet again in Russia later this year is one of the true evidences of a changing power map in the world.  Ambitious countries in “G5” making up the acronym BRICS have concluded yet another interesting meeting in New Delhi.

Heads of the BRICS countries (L to R) President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

 

Coordinated efforts within G-20 meeting, regional development funds of their own, more coordinated efforts within WTO are among other issues covered in their agenda.

This forum is taking more and more shape, gaining political momentum on the world scene and taking decisions we all have to relate to one way or another.

When will we start paying or receiving in brics? They are true bricklayers.

Anders, from a very warm spring in Norway. 

 

China’s long march towards global responsibility?

There are positive signs that China is moving forward towards greater global responsibility.  Premier Wen Jiabao offered co-operation to help stabilise debt-ridden EU nations, and Zhou Xiaochuan of China’s Central Bank went even further in confirming Chinese participation in a EU bailout fund.

There has been immediate response on stock exchanges throughout the world.

In a broader perspective, this is a positive signal that China has discovered their interdependency with their global trading partners.   But there has never been anything like a free lunch, so what are the terms for this participation?

By evaluating the terms, we can judge China’s real view on global responsibility.

Anders, from a sunny lakeside Mjøsa. 

 

China put on test

An extraordinary city in southern China is testing this great country’s ability to deal with democratization.

Wukan, a fishing village of approx 20,000 inhabitants have been robbed of their land. Industrial development need more land and local government confiscate land without proper compensation.

Protest have been going on for days, local politicians have fled town and police has sieged the city blocking food supplies.

This situation is delicate for Chinese officials dealing with both national and international reactions.  We should all follow their actions.

Anders from Gjøvik, Norway 

Nobel Peace Prize 2011 to three visonary women with a devotion

A joint support to womens role in peace activism and political change processes.  An excellent choice though different in nature:  The price to Gbowee and Johnson-Sirleaf is for achievements in Liberia that goes some year back.  Johnson-Sirleaf has grown into an important statesman worthy of this recognition.

Gbowee stood up to become an important leader for women’s rights, social justice and human rights.  She led and inspired a movement and became an instrumental peacemaker with unconventional methods in the reconciliation process in Liberia.

The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever, 32 years old Tawakkol Karman also represent a similar female force, standing in the middle of a fight for democratization in Yemen, of which the outcome is still uncertain.  But she speaks with a universal voice that is strong in an Arab context that need modernization.

As was the message of Johnson-Surleaf: “Women of the world, find your voice and use it!”

Anders, from Gjøvik, Norway 

Globalization – Where are we heading?

As we write 2011 into the history books, it’s time to do some book keeping;

  • What have we learned?
  • Where are we heading?

Globalization is progressing at an escalating beat, but is the DJ sleeping behind the turntable?  Where is the conductor?  Is Obama keeping the beat?    In Europe, for a while we got the impression that Merkel & Sarkozy had taken upon themselves to get harmony and rhythm back into the Euro, and re-establishing order in the rave party down in Greece.

It is evident that not only the Greecs have been partying with borrowed money.  How far will the debt crisis take us into recession?  The present debt structure in the US and Europe for sure will have lasting geopolitical effects on the world, and this in the long run, should be good.  On the other hand, it might be a bumpy ride to get there – the Nirvana of a globalized, democratic world.

Estimated foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities have more than quadrupled since 2001. Some experts worry about the geopolitical consequences of foreign governments investing so deeply in U.S. Treasuries. But the investments also tie the fortunes of foreign governments more closely to those of the United States.

As with foreign holdings of US Treasury securities, the countries are getting more and more integrated, inter-related and inter-dependant.  But most countries have not been able to modernize their political thinking on how to adopt to this new reality.

Foreign departments and international bodies need serious upgrading.  The EU might be forced to push more central power into Brussels, and there are no doubt that institutions like the World Bank, IMF and UN need a fundamental re-boot, shake-up and modernization to become the tools we need to manage the brave new world.

Anders, from the cold beach of Kapp, Norway 

10 Countries that try to be next China

The constant race for cheaper labour cost have had one destination for the last two decades – China.  This is about to change.

Most of South East Asia together with India have ambitions to capture the market for labour intensive business development.

Click the illustration for an interesting list of countries.

Anders, from an autumn coloured Norway.

 

Rome for sale

The final crunch of the Roman Empire is also a story of how democracy can turn a country into a brothel.  Democratically elected Berlusconi has run the country into ruin while filling up his private and company accounts.  It is more than a joke.  It is a tragedy.  Now people in Italy need to wake up.

Reverse colonization or globalization?

 

For a decade, the country has consistently spent more than they have earned, and we all know where that takes us.  What we do not know, is what really happens when Italy is on its knees, and China is called in to rescue.  Now that is an interesting new situation.

For an interesting view, look to Financial Times correspondent in Rome, Guy Dinsmore: Financial Times on Italy

Are we at the beginning of “reverse colonization of Europe”  Mr Tremonti has been asking. No Mr. Tremonti, this is globalization as a two-way street.  But the road has not been taken before, so we are up for some real new learning.

Anders, Gjovik, Norway 

World Metropoles – Istanbul Must-Dos

Istanbul Must-Dos — National Geographic’s Ultimate City Guides.

My favorite world metropolis’ a must for the global citizen;

  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • New York, USA
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Paris, France
  • Colcutta, India
  • Shanghai, China
  • Singapore

Check out National Geographic’s Must-dos in Istanbul on the link above.

Anders, from a rainy and cold Gjøvik, Norway