Slogan-raising outside Parliaments, protest marches and rallies on the streets, heated discussions at various forums— anti-globalization or de-globalization seems to be the word of the year. Whether this is the next wave industries should take cognizance of, is a question many are seeking an answer for. Our cover story tries to bring some clarity on how businesses and managers should react to this trend.
But to me, a far more pertinent question is—why? Why did we end up in a situation where we would go against our basic quality—of being social, of being in a group, of being a part of a community—and want to close gates and erect boundaries?
The answer is: lack of trust. Nations and populations today are wary—of developed countries dumping second-grade goods on developing or underdeveloped economies; of emerging markets using cost advantage to take away jobs from the natives; of multinationals exploiting natural resources in the guise of developing local economies; of governments relaxing trading norms at the cost of local businesses. The world has seen all of the above being true case in points. So gated economies seem to be a good option.
Irrespective of whether this is a trend, wave, or a cycle, it will cease to hold any meaning only if governments, businesses, and people start ‘re-building’ trust. They need to actively demonstrate that it is not a zero-sum game, but a win-win proposition for all.
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