By Tomas Lasson
Larsson takes the reader on a fast paced, around the globe trip that extends from the slums of Rio to the brothels of Bangkok and exhibits what entry to international markets skill for these suffering to get forward on the planet.
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Extra info for The Race to the Top: The Real Story of Globalization
Bangkok is Thailand economically, as well. This is no coincidence. Obviously, companies will be reluctant to set up shop in the coun23 THE RACE TO THE TOP: THE REAL STORY OF GLOBALIZATION tryside when all dealings with the authorities must take place in the capital. But the deck is also stacked in other ways. While local manufacturing is heavily subsidized, rural development is ignored, even penalized, with punitive taxes levied on rice exports. In consequence, industry is far too capital-intensive in relation to the country’s level of development.
Like the trade delegates flying in from around the globe, they had come in anticipation of the annual meeting of the World Trade Organization. The 50,000 or so converging protesters ranged from youthful ski-masked rebels scavenging for a cause to union activists, environmentalists, and champions of animal rights. Not all the protesters had the same axe to grind. Several hundred supporters of Falun Gong demonstrated peacefully to call attention to China’s persecution of that group. There were even a few gray-suited conservatives on hand to take issue with illiberal aspects of WTO trade rules and organizational policy.
The next few days saw more of the same. In the end, the year’s round of trade meetings had accomplished little—but not because of the protesters. At least, not directly. In 1998 the multilateral negotiating process had celebrated its 50th anniversary. A new round of negotiations for greater free trade was to begin January 1, 2000, with a kickoff a month earlier in conjunction with the ill-fated summit meeting in Seattle. But the Millennium Round never happened, primarily because the key nations—the United States and the European Union—could not agree on the agenda.