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Globalization In The Caribbean

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Autor:   •  March 13, 2011  •  2,620 Words (11 Pages)  •  1,668 Views

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GLOBALIZATION IN THE CARIBBEAN

Introduction:

Globalization has been seen by some as beneficial where it is the key to future world economic development, it is irreversible and inevitable. On the other hand, some view it as a mode to increase inequality within and between nations, threatens employment and living standards and thwarts social progress.

It is the result of human innovation and technological progress. Globalization refers to the integration of the world economies, predominantly through trade and financial flows. It is also used in regard to the emigration of people (labor) and knowledge across the international borders, which inherently is promoting international trade.

This paper will examine how globalization has moved into the Caribbean like a hurricane. Globalization is like the calm before the storm; the many benefits are seen until the storm approaches and brutally demolish the many islands it roams through. The negative effects though are not seen as any kind of immediate threat, it is known what they are but the benefits are what people "see" and use as a faÐ*ade to globalization.

Globalization refers to the emergence in the twentieth century, of a global community, whereby cultural, economic, environment and political events occurring in communities in one part of the world has quickly come to be significant to people in other societies. The way in which technology has 'evolved' has resulted in an advance in communication, transportation, scientific discoveries, and information technology. These advances, which are the basis of globalization, have infiltrated and affected every possible nuance of Caribbean life so that it is almost impossible to imagine life without them. Like all entities that change the world in which we live, globalization has both negative and positive impacts; in the Caribbean its positive aspects include a basic 'knowledge-sharing' and easier access to more resources. Disadvantages of globalization here in the Caribbean revolve mainly around the way in which it adversely affects our small island economies. The Caribbean has benefited in many ways from globalization. First and foremost is the fact that due to twentieth century leaps in communication techniques, national banks and investment entities that aid in generating finance for their respective Caribbean states are now able to access income-generating programmes-such as the trading of money, stock and bonds- twenty-four hours a day, in almost very part of the world. These communication techniques have also greatly reduced communication costs and time to a bare minimum. Additionally, Caribbean people have found that they are also able to access greater, more varied range of services as a result of globalization. With the use of technologies like the internet, they can buy and sell almost anything from almost any place on earth with just a click of a mouse button; sometimes for a fraction of its cost had it been purchased locally. Furthermore, with policies -such as that of free trade- food items, clothes, luxuries, educational equipment, and other products deemed necessary to maintain a particular standard of living have also become more easily to obtain. In addition, because of the way in which technology has opened mediums of communications while cutting its costs, Caribbean people have found an easily accessible, cheaper means of communicating with each other. The result is that around the region, societies have become more united in some ways, having been exposed to each others culture and recognizing the commonalities. This is due mainly impart, not only to the internet, but to the television, radio and telephone media. Globalization has also provided Caribbean governments with a more efficient access to pharmaceuticals, health aid apparatus and educational equipment. This has resulted in a general improvement in the 'health statistics', as well as the 'educational statistics' around the Caribbean, as its citizens are able to obtain better health care and more reliable, modern educational tools( such as computers) in their schools- at a cheaper rate. The improvement of transportation technology around the globe is another important component of globalization. In the Caribbean, traveling from one country to another around the region has become less time-consuming and inexpensive. This is an advantage because regional tourists who purchase food supplies, clothes and stock for personal use or for business from neighboring countries, are a means through which governments in these countries generate revenue. Additionally, there is also the fact that regional governments also supplement their income with the money spent by regional tourists who travel around the Caribbean to attend cultural events like Trinidad's 'Carnival', or Barbados' 'Jazz Festival'. It must be noted that the improvement in transportation due to globalization has also strengthened the region's 'international tourist' industry, as visitors find it more efficient and easier to arrive her by plane and by ocean liner. This is a crucial factor for the many countries in the region, where tourism provides most of their revenue. Improved transportation methods have also made it easier for the Caribbean to transport goods abroad to regions where it would have been impossible before to transport them because of their distance or inaccessibility, this widening of the regional market means an increase in export profits for the region's nations. There is also the related drop in transportation costs and the reduction in the loss of profits due to spoilage of goods, for example, fresh fruits and vegetables traveling form the Caribbean to Europe, because transportation methods has become speedier and more efficient. In addition, globalization also encourages emigration as the work possibilities opened to people around the globe encourages them to move to areas around or outside the region where employment is available. This is advantageous to the Caribbean in some ways because many of the emigrants send money home to their families improving their standard of living and generating valuable foreign income within their respective countries. Furthermore, when Caribbean businesses expand outside the region they provide important economical links between the Caribbean and the country to which they have moved, and also act as a type of advertisement to people looking to invest in other Caribbean businesses. If applied under the right conditions, globalization can be a positive force in the Caribbean, providing a framework for progress along political, social and economic spheres.

However,

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