The Impact of Globalization on Textile Trade – Myths & Realities

(12/31/1999 20:00)

Trade is probably the most ancient of the economical activities to have taken place. Not only commodities but also the exchange of ideas, information, entertainment and even culture, is now an irreversible fact of life. With components and raw materials produced in many countries eventually finding their way in finished goods many thousands of miles away, even the concept of production and value-addition has changed. The textile industry is a classical example, where many Far Eastern countries with no cotton availability have emerged as major producers of finished textile products. Globalisation is a more modern phenomenon and while there are many interpretations, from the trade aspect it is seen as an opportunity for many countries to benefit from the opening up of new markets after the signing of WTO agreement. The paper will give an in depth analysis of the changes that globalisation will bring to different regions of the world. While highlighting the various positive developments of globalisation, the main focus will be on the fears of many less developed economies about globalisation and what impact it will have in their quest for development. It will also address the serious concerns about the impact of globalisation on the environment and particularly on the survival and sustainability of indigenous cultures. Genetically modified crops and patenting of life forms by multinationals may have serious repercussions for eco-systems as well as local practices and crafts. The paper will further examine the role of various global players such as IMF and World Bank in pushing for the cause of globalisation and at the same time contradictions inherent in emergence of regional trade blocks with specific reference to textile and clothing trade. Finally, some policy recommendations will be highlighted so that globalisation process may in the long term benefit more people and be useful in development of human resources rather than the selected few.

By: A. Majeed & Z. Bandukda Textile Institute of Pakistan, Karachi

Submit Date: 12/31/1999 20:00

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