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060926 SS TKK luento

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Published on May 7, 2008

Author: Doride

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Globalisation and the Role of International Organisations The Sustainable Global Technologies programme in the Helsinki University of Technology :  Globalisation and the Role of International Organisations The Sustainable Global Technologies programme in the Helsinki University of Technology Dr Sinikka Salo, Member of the Board Bank of Finland 26 September 2006 Globalisation – a definition:  Globalisation – a definition Globalisation is used as a general term for a complex series of economic, social, technological, cultural and political changes seen as increasing interdependence, integration and interaction between people and companies in disparate locations. For the purpose of this lecture: “(Economic) globalisation is the growing interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, free movement of international capital flows, and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology”. Introduction:  Introduction Globalization and its critics WTO, World Bank and IMF 20th century income trends - Unparalleled growth Does globalisation harm workers´ interests in advanced countries? Are periodic crises an inevitable consequence of globalisation? Globalisation and democracy Concluding remarks Globalisation:  Globalisation Globalisation is a historical process, the result of human innovation and technological progress. Globalisation promotes efficiency through competition and division of labour. Countries facing the prospect of participating more deeply in the globalisation process must be prepared to embrace the policies needed; the poorest countries need the support of the international community. Globalisation and its critics:  Globalisation and its critics Criticism against free trade Attac: ”Speculative economy has gained supremacy over the primary or real economy” Critique against international organisations of being too ”liberalistic” in their policies or that their “conditionalities” for assistance being wrong, undemocratic, non-transparent World Trade Organization (WTO):  World Trade Organization (WTO) Founded 1995, successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT),149 countries as members; Geneva To ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible WTO’s agreements – multilateral trading system – legal ground rules for international commerce Latest trade negotiations: the Doha Development Agenda launched in November 2001; negotiations stalled in July 2006 Critics towards the WTO:  Critics towards the WTO ”WTO tells antidemocratically to its members how to conduct their policies.” This is a misconception. The WTO is a ”member-driven” organization. Decisions taken in the WTO are virtually all made by consensus among all members – they are negotiated, accountable and democratic. A legitimate criticism of the WTO may be that it has helped to construct the world trade system that is ”complicated, cumbersome and rigid”. The World Bank:  The World Bank Founded 1945, Washington DC Goal: global poverty reduction and improving of living standards Source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries Not a bank in a common sense; made up of two unique development institutions: BRD International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and IDA International Development Association Owned by 184 member countries: Low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes. Millennium Development Goals:  Millennium Development Goals Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Achieve universal primary education Promote gender equality and empower women Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other deceases Ensure environmental sustainability Develop a Global partnership for Development World Bank has a central role with respect to these goals. Global Partnership for Development:  Global Partnership for Development Push forward world trade talks to reduce agricultural protectionism (WTO) Finance debt relief properly (WB) Step-up delivery of the ”education for all” targets (WB) Make available substantial extra resources for TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS to eliminate preventable diseases (WB) International Monetary Fund (IMF):  International Monetary Fund (IMF) Founded 1945, Washington DC 184 member countries Ensuring stability of international monetary and financial system Three main functions: surveillance, technical assistance, lending Monetary institute, whose resources are provided by its member countries, primarily through payment of quotas which broadly reflect each country’s economic size. IMF promotes global growth and economic stability:  IMF promotes global growth and economic stability IMF encourages countries to adopt sound economic policies through surveillance – regular dialogue and policy advice; Article IV reports. Technical assistance and training are offered in several areas: fiscal policy, monetary and exchange rate policies, banking and financial system supervision and regulation, statistics. In the event that member countries encounter difficulties financing their balance of payments, the IMF is a fund that can be tapped to help in recovery. Criticism against the IMF:  Criticism against the IMF A standard criticism against the IMF is that conditionality imposes too much hardship on the already strained economy. Three comments: The basic reason for balance of payments crisis is misplaced economic policies which need to be corrected anyway. At times of economic hardship people instinctively start to seek the culprit for all the difficulties they have to suffer. The IMF is a financial institution and it has to act prudently in granting loans to its members - conditionality is needed (IMF does not require a pledge or collateral from its borrowers). 20th century income trends: unparalleled growth:  20th century income trends: unparalleled growth Global GDP per capita increased almost five-fold. The strongest expansion during the second half of the century, a period of rapid trade expansion. Progress was unevenly distributed; income inequality clearly increased. However the trend of inequality may have changed now when more and more countries have abandoned their inward-oriented policies. Enormous progress has taken place in Asia, but even in Africa, where per capita incomes declined relative to industrial countries, there have been positive developments in last few years. Does globalisation harm workers’ interests in advanced countries?:  Does globalisation harm workers’ interests in advanced countries? Mature economies become more service-oriented and there is a shift towards more highly skilled jobs. Workers in declining older industries may not be able to make an easy transition to new industries. Government policy should focus on two important areas: education and vocational training well-targeted social safety nets to assist people who are displaced. Role of multilateral institutions important in promoting open economy. Are periodic crises an inevitable consequence of globalisation?:  Are periodic crises an inevitable consequence of globalisation? The crises would not have developed without exposure to global capital markets, but nor could these countries have achieved their impressive growth records without those financial flows. Efforts to increase stability of international capital flows are central to the work on strengthening the international financial architecture. Key goal of this work is to develop standards and codes that are based on internationally accepted principles that can be implemented in many different national settings. Globalisation and democracy:  Globalisation and democracy There is evidence that indicates that globalisation and democracy influence positively one another. Concluding remarks :  Concluding remarks Strongest gains of globalisation have been made in countries which have most actively participated in the globalisation process. This can be contrasted with the developments in the 1970s and 1980s of many countries in Latin America and Africa which pursued inward-oriented policies, with their economies stagnating or declining, poverty increasing and high inflation becoming a norm. Concluding remarks:  Concluding remarks The income gap between high-income and low-income countries is a matter for concern, but it is wrong to jump to the conclusion that globalisation has caused the divergence, or that nothing can be done. Failure to integrate with the global economy has been one of the policy failures of poor countries. The international community should endeavour to help the poorest countries in this integration process. Concluding remarks :  Concluding remarks International organisations – WTO, World Bank, IMF – play important role in this process. Attacks against these institutions may at worst translate itself into clearly demonstrated political will, which could lead to an eclipse of multinational institutions at the time they are mostly needed. A multilateral system forces individual countries to look beyond their own narrow short-term interests and in doing so enables participants in the international economy to gain.

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