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The Role of Globalization in Food Production and Trade

The term Globalization is coined with numerous thoughts and ideas, both positive and negative alike. Many countries are for it, while some are against it. However, as its name would suggest, one thing undeniable with it is that it is a global phenomenon, affecting and involving every nation composing our world at present. Globalization is the integration of nations, integration in almost every aspect of the life of a nation. Be it in the economic aspect of a state, political aspect, or even in the cultural facet, Globalization has undeniably made its mark on every nation, in every continent.

As a result, we are now more and more involved with our neighboring countries more than we have thought of. Some would argue that globalization has made countries more permeable, that is, the access to a state has now become easier and swifter brought about by the rising involvement among nation-states. Globalization causes countries to open its doors to other nations, stimulating an effect of a booming economy due to unprecedented inflows of capitals and investments from multinational corporations located in almost every part of the world.

This is where the debate comes in. does these multinational corporations, otherwise known as transnational corporations, really stimulate growth for a nation? Or is it the cause of the deterioration of a nation? How do these transnational corporations spur growth to a nation? These contested ideas creates a worldwide debate whether or not countries should open its doors to the world or lock itself in and be inward looking.

These are just some of the questions every nation must be willing to address especially for the developed and more so, the developing ones. To discuss the role of Globalization in international trade and food production, I would like to discuss first the nature of some of the various aspects of Globalization and how these affect the flow of international trade and food production in various nations. As with my statement above, I have stated that Globalization connotes both constructive and pejorative views.

To further expand on the derogatory connotations, one would argue that globalization causes nations to lose its very own sovereignty to multinational corporations, or other great global investors operating in that country. This is due to the fact that these multinational corporations or transnational corporations are able to come and go as they please in countries suited for their growth and prosperity. Nation-states in this view lose its power to these global corporations, simply because they cannot stop the decisions of these corporations to come and go as they please especially in developing Asian countries.

Nonetheless, we cannot contest the fact that as these multinational corporations establishes itself in various countries especially the developing ones, these companies creates jobs for the people in places where having employment is a luxury only a few are able to have. As these corporations generate employment for the people, they are giving them income in return for their labor, as these people are able to spend, they are able to consume services and commodities, which in turn, generate profit to companies, spurring the supply of these commodities brought about by the demand of the people and various consumers.

As we all know, this kind of an economic system is healthy for any nation. There are many benefits of globalization to nation-states, more than we have ever thought of. One of the things governments of various nation-states can do is to create and pass laws suitable for economic development, thereby gradually attracting major corporations to invest in countries in need of employment. Through the process, it creates a symbiotic relationship that benefits the two sides.

More than that, governments of countries must implement these laws without bias, thereby promoting a peaceful society where the political and economic climate itself is suitable for growth and prosperity. This will boost the trust of numerous global corporations in countries in need of economic growth. Examples of the effect of this situation are Asian ‘tiger economies’ such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand to name a few. We can see in these nation-states that opening their doors to the world, paired with good governance have benefited them greatly, thereby boosting their economy and have generated them wealth.

Therefore, one cannot but feel the wanted effects of globalization towards ones economy. Globalization in the Cultural aspect has tended to flatten out the cultural differences among nations. In the world of unparalleled integration, we now live in a time where all of us eat the same food, wear the same clothes, buy the same commodities, idolize the same sports stars, and imitate the same celebrities. All this is brought about by the growth of technology and transportation where one would think that the geographical boundaries of nation-states have become seemingly redundant.

We now live in a world where connections among humans from both ends of the world have become as common as going to work. With globalization, it is not uncommon to see western products to be so established in eastern nation-states where one would even think that such products originated in their country. Globalization in the political aspect have created numerous supranational bodies such as the League of Nations, the United Nations (UN), regional co-operations such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Union (AU), and the European Union (EU) to name a few.

These associations promote peaceful discussions and informative debates among nation-states thereby decreasing and hopefully eliminating the dangers of wars among nations and preventing crimes against humanity. These peaceful debates save lives, numerous innocent lives from around the world. In effect, the creation of these supranational bodies creates more benefits than one. In the resolution of conflicts, rest assured there is a mediator to stand on the middle, helping to resolve misunderstandings among nation-states, promoting peaceful discussions in a formal forum instead of resorting to inhumane and violent bloodshed and war.

These supranational organizations stand as the middle ground, helping to come up with decisions that would benefit not only one nation but the whole of its member states. This creates a democratic resolution of conflict through compromise, weighing in decisions to benefit every nation composing its league. Political cooperation, much so Economic cooperation among nation-states brought about by globalization has created the “specialization” of nations, where countries from various parts of the world would often specialize in certain products especially in food mainly for export and trade with other nations.

An example of this is the thriving Asian Archipelago of the Philippines. The Philippines is one of the largest producers of bananas which they export to countries such as Japan, South Korea and to the rest of the world. Another food product of the Philippines is the Tuna which they catch in their open waters with the main purpose of exporting them to various nations throughout the world. The main trading partner of the Philippines is the United States of America. We can see in this situation how globalization has helped greatly this small island nation through earning by exporting its goods to the rest of the world.

The phenomenon of globalization has made the trading of the Philippines with various nation-states easily and efficiently. This cooperation among nations results to the “specialization” of nations, thereby these countries are able to focus their strengths in producing the products they are able to produce in the highest quality. The specialization of states can be traced back to the early times, specifically during the times of David Ricardo. David Ricardo supported the trade and specialization between countries through his theory of comparative advantage.

In his theory, he made the trade relations between Portugal and England as an example. In this situation, a country specializes in producing where it is more competitive and trades this good for a good that will cost more if she produces it herself. For example, England produces textile for 100 units while Portugal can produce the same commodity at a much lower price of 90 units. England produces Wine at 120 units while Portugal can produce the same wine for a lower price of 80 units. This creates a tendency for nation-states to undergo in a trade relationship that will benefit them both in the end.

The effects of Globalization have made trading among nations more efficient and effective. Because of trading brought about by nation integration, food production among countries have increased, opening up new markets for importing, exporting, and trading among countries. Through globalization, the needs and the demands of peoples and consumers throughout the globe are met especially when such commodities in demand are not readily available in their country. Such demands most in need throughout the globe, aside from food are medicines which is a vital commodity for us humans.

Medical needs are effectively met due to global national integration. Globalization has created new markets for trading among different nations thereby opening up newer opportunities for thriving businesses. Globalization has spawned the creation of co-operations among nations to further enhance commodity production to meet the demands of the global citizen. To reiterate my point, the phenomenon of Globalization has created more benefits than one. It promotes economic development to various nation states through the growth of international trade especially in food production, in every continent composing our world we live in at present.

We always have to accept the fact that our nation is not the only one existing in this planet. State integration is an inevitable effect of Globalization that we always have to live with. We have to accept the fact that a nation can prosper not by keeping itself locked out from the rest of humanity. An example of this condition is the situation of North Korea, by keeping itself locked out from the rest of the world, economic prosperity for their country is a goal that is yet to be achieved.

We have to accept the phenomenon of globalization and accept its consequences that will surely pave the way towards growth. To end my essay, let me share with you a quote uttered by John Donne that I am very sure many of us are familiar with, “No man is an Island. ” We can not live alone; we can not keep ourselves locked in from humanity. One way or another, we will always be dealing with other people from different nations, in every continent making up our world. References: Heywood, Andrew. 2007. Third Edition. Palgrave Macmillan. New York. ISBN 978-0-230-52497-2

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