ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Economic Globalisation Sparks Protests

Protests against globalisation, as articulated in Melbourne during the World Economic Forum are too diffused and disparate to present alternative perspectives, but do make a case for pausing to reflect.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Melbourne, from September 11 to 13, highlighted some important contradictions. The WEF (like World Trade Organisation, World Bank and International Monetary Fund) supports and promotes free trade and economic globalisation. Which is considered inevitable and unstoppable. It is also considered the only way to reduce global poverty, though this is not its primary objective. It is argued that without economic growth, spurred by global free trade and investments, there isn’t much future for poor and developing countries. East Asia is held as an example of the benefits of liberal trade with access to export markets of rich industrial countries.

The contradiction arises because those opposing globalisation do not buy this argument. They contend that organisations like WEF, WTO, etc, are part of the problem. Their advocacy of globalisation is based on corporate greed, seeking to impose their will on an unsuspecting world. By mobilising people and staging protests, movements like S-11 (September 11, when the WEF started its three-day session in Melbourne) are seeking to alert people to the dangers of economic globalisation. And they are also questioning the legitimacy of a world economic order tailored and imposed by huge business conglomerates and international economic bureaucracies.

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