The Two Faces Of Globalisation

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2019

The Two Faces Of Globalisation

Globalization is a multilayered phenomenon that has no universally-accepted definition.

There are also competing perspectives, with many players promoting their partisan ideologies, values, and interests.

These initiatives have major ramifications that can affect countries, cultures, and communities in different ways.

As a systemic change, process or project, globalization has many upsides as well as downsides that cannot be underestimated. It is one of the tectonic plates that is changing socioeconomic landscapes in both our country and elsewhere.

While we cannot stop globalization, we can manage it to our advantage and make it beneficial and more equitable for our people.

While globalization has generally helped us improve quality of life and strengthen our economy, we have to ensure that globalization will not benefit only a small segment of our people. It will also not cause our gini coefficient to widen and create a cascade of negative effects.

Globalization can improve our competitiveness, create jobs and improve our workforce’s knowledge, competence and productivity.

However, globalization can also create a culture of helplessness and fear for those who are unable to catch up and leverage the global game, including many elderly workers, less educated and skillful workers, and workers that have been made obsolete by advanced and disruptive technologies.

Globalization made it possible for companies to relocate to another country or outsource all or part of their operations to enhance their strengths and sustainability. On the other hand, an uncontrolled shifting of industries and businesses can cause a brain drain, loss of valued jobs, and a lowering of workers’ income, and unnecessary shocks to the economy and society.

While globalization can make a wider variety of talents, products, services and other resources more available, affordable and accessible, it can also promote unhealthy values, weaken our core identity and culture, and cause negative impacts on our environment.

Globalization can help us attract high value-added industries and businesses. It can also make us vulnerable to the incursion and spread of human, animal and plant diseases.

In the past, some of the upsides of globalization has helped us build a developed and widely-admired economy.

Moving forward, the downsides of globalization can put growing pressures on us to develop unhealthy social welfare schemes. These schemes may run contrary to strengthening of our fighting spirit, and promotion of self reliance and continuos improvements.

As we prepare our nation and our people to be future-ready, we need to deepen our studies on how we can reduce the risks of globalization and reap its multifold values and benefits.

We need to educate our people on the impacts and challenges of globalization and prepare them accordingly to survive and succeed in an increasingly interdependent and interconnected world.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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