Global Systems Key Terms

A process by which national economies, societies, and cultures have become increasingly integrated through the global network of trade, communication, transportation and immigration.
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International Trade
The exchange of capital, goods and services across international borders.
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A large group of people with a similar heritage or homeland who have moved and settled in places all over the world.
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Economic leakage
Refers to a loss of income from an economic system. It often refers to the profits sent back to their base country by transnational corporations.
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Brazil, Russia, India and china. Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey.
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Remittance payments
These are transfers of money made by foreign workers to family in their home country, and has become the second most important source of income for developing countries.
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A system of standardised transport that uses large standard-size steel containers to transport goods. The containers can be transferred between ships, trains and lorries, enabling cheaper, efficient transport.
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A tax or duty placed on imported goods with the intention of making them more expensive to consumers so that they do not sell at a lower price than home-based goods.
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Economies of scale
The cost advantages that result from the larger size, output or scale of an operation.
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Trading Blocs
Groups of counties in specific regions that manage and promote trade activities. It frees trade from protectionist measures and trade creation between members, since they are treated favourably in comparison to non-members.
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Preferential Trade Area
When countries within a geographical region agree to reduce or eliminate tariff barriers on selected goods imported from other members of the area
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Free Trade Area
When two or more countries in a region agree to reduce or eliminate tariff barriers to trade on all goods coming form other members. There are still custom checks for safety and quality.
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Customs Union
Involves the removal of tariff barriers between members, plus the acceptance of a common external tariff against non-members. This means that members may negotiate as a single bloc against third parties, you can't have deals outside of the union.
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Common Market
First significant step towards full economic integration, and occurs when member countries trade freely in all economic resources - not just tangible goods, including labour.
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Economic or Monetary Union
In addition to free movement of goods and services it also requires integration of economic polices like laws.
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Trade Agreement
A 'contract' within which one country agrees to remove controls in exchange for the other country doing so.
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Bilateral Trade Agreement
A trad agreement between two countries.
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Multilateral Trade Agreement
A trade agreement between several countries.
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Non-tariff barriers
Controls on trade set by a government that aren't financial. E.g. Rules on quality of products coming into a country.
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World Trade Organisation, which governs the global trade system. Established in 1955, it sets rules on how countries can trade with each other. It is also a forum for countries to negotiate trade deals or settle trade disputes
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Flows of Labour
Movement of working people, as internal migrants or immigrants.
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Flows of Products
Transfers of goods across international borders from places of production to places of assembly and to places of sale.
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Flows of Capital
Conveying money through financial transactions and dealings in stocks and shares, government bonds, and investment banks.
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Flows of Information
Obtaining transmissions and downloading material from servers located around the world as well as interacting with others globally.
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Flows of Services
Provision of assistance, advice and guidance from people located far from the user and often operating in different time-zones.
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Gross Domestic Product, which is an indicator of productivity
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International Trade


The exchange of capital, goods and services across international borders.

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Economic leakage


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