SUPERPOWERS: Trade & Culture

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  • Created on: 19-03-13 21:50
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Trade
This is the exchange of goods and services which generates wealth. `Free trade' is
known as the Neoliberal free market model.
The superpowers and emerging powers have a significant advantage when it comes
to world trade because:
Most TNC's originate in rich, developed countries 70% of all trade is to do
with TNC activity.
Most major shipping companies and airlines originate in the USA and Europe.
Many developed countries allow free trade between each other. The role of
trade blocs such as NAFTA and the EU is important in generating internal free
trade while maintaining aspects of protectionism.
Trade is important because it is often seen as the engine for growth. For example
China has become `the workshop of the world' by embracing capitalism within a free
market. The creation of special economic zones e.g. Shenzhen is attracting export
orientated industries e.g. Foxconn which employs 400,000 workers. The Chinese
economy has grown by 10% each year for 20 years, the fastest ever industrial
revolution ­ by 2035 China will have the largest economy. Due to this manufacture
and trading growth 400 million people have been lifted out of poverty.
Frank's 1969 dependency theory describes trade flows between the developed and
developing world. Less powerful countries export lowvalue commodities e.g. coffee,
copper and cotton to developed countries, but import costly manufactured goods.
Long term, the value of commodities has fallen relative to the cost of goods and
services, which has worsened terms of trade ­ creating the `trade gap'. However
some emerging powers have broken out of the commodity export model e.g. China
and India. Russia and the Gulf states use oil and gas as their trade weapons e.g.
Gazprom.
The unfair terms of trade, plus recent neocolonial BRIC FDI projects on the African
continent (e.g. Nigerian oil and Zambian copper) provide the developed world with cheap
resources.
Culture
Cultural globalisation is a subtle way of influencing other countries. Consumerism and
global brands e.g. Disney and McDonalds have presented a universal ideology created
by westerners attempting to create a uniform global culture. Cultural exports
embody US values/ideologies creating the `Americanisation of the world'. Language is
also very important ­ English is the international business language and India has the
most English speaking people in the world. `Cyberspace' is dominated by the USA ­
Google, Apple, and Microsoft (mainly in Silicon Valley) control information flows.
Critics argue that as Western culture spreads it threatens traditional cultures and
eventually dilutes them this has led to backlashes. For example, the 2005 UN
convention of the protection and promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression
allow countries to use measures to protect their culture. For example, Chinese
censorship includes only 50 western movies being chosen for Chinese viewing each
year and also `Google wars' as the Chinese internet is heavily policed.

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However globalisation could be said to promote cultural mixing, multiculturalism and
better cultural understanding. The Chinese see the influx of western companies as a
positive as it shows progress and development.…read more

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