Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Over roads and waterways of the world’s geopolitical landscape travels the force of economic development moving goods, services and capital that provide sustenance, standards of living, and wealth. Through rapid advances in transportation and communications, a majority of the world’s population has reached an unprecedented level of interdependence. Today’s level of trade and its impact on populations is such that the unease, or discomfort, with such reliance on other countries, will continue to be a hard-to-swallow pill, that will go down nonetheless.

There are imbalances between large economies and those at the periphery, as distribution of participation in the world economic system accelerates. On the whole, all states benefit. Over-concentration with any individual partnership, or over-dependence of one country on another, can give rise to overwhelming sense of vulnerability, destabilization and conflict. Over the longer term, there are challenges to global trade engagements when nationalist passions are stimulated by inevitable impact on particular trade sectors. Whole industrial segments can recede or disappear altogether. While ingenuity and initiative can provide balance through the development of alternatives, the desire should be for broad distribution of international trade relationships injected with a diversification of products, goods, services and materials. The greater the range and multiplicity of trading channels between countries, the greater the interdependence.

Today globalization and its complex relationships, coupled with effective and tempered bilateral diplomacy can provide countries and their leaders with expectations of improved conditions. The diversity of relationships we are witnessing is giving rise to new political alliances across the globe. Although each state will continue to concern itself with security, and access to resources and goods for its long term health, the new complexities in the globalization of trade and political relationships should bring about long term peace and stability between the major powers. Such would be a welcome divergence from historical precedence for response on dependence.


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