Yemen And Globalization [Archives:2000/37/Focus]

September 11 2000

Imad Al-Saqqaf,
YT Taiz Bureau Chief
All countries, the poor and the rich, developed as well as the backward have elaborately discussed pros and cons of globalization and its effects on their economies and cultures etc.

What Is Globalization?
Does it mean shrinkage of the whole world into a small village owing to telecommunication, information and satellite revolution? Or is it the unity of world cultures so that people of Taiz imitate Michael Jackson and know about Sindy Crawford more than what they know about Yemeni and Arab scientists and intellectuals?
Does it mean Americanization; that America would control the world politically, economically and culturally? Or is it the widening gap between the rich countries which are getting richer and the poor countries which are getting poorer.
Does it mean the violation of human rights and marginalization of national governments and preventing them from managing their national economies? Or it is all these put together.
Mr. Sameer Amin defined it as the active and quick international financial and trade exchanges among countries. It means the cancellation of borders and all customs blocs on the way of products and capitals transportation. The e-trade on Internet is one of the outcomes of economic globalization.
One of the best books written on globalization has been Trap of Globalization by Hans Pitermartin and Harald Showman. The authors say that development of globalization will be coincided with the concentration of wealth and widening the schism between the poor and rich.
There are about 358 rich people possessing a wealth equal to that of 2,1 billion people. Moreover, 20% of the world countries are possessing about 84% of the world trade and 85% of the world savings. There will also be an abyss between rich and poor people inside each country. Specific groups will have access to greater parts of the national income than the others. Ironically, the difference in the distribution of wealth has become an ordinary and prerequisite for the global competition.
Talking about wheat, the authors of the book say that about 200 million tons of wheat is produced a year. Only the USA produces half of this quantity. This means that America might become the greatest power in food. Consequently it might be used as a pressure card to achieve political aims.
Companies and banks are being integrated in the world into stronger identities. One year ago three Japanese banks were merged into one bank with a capital of US$ 142 billion forming the biggest bank in the world.
Yemen is still lagging behind in banking. I wonder why Yemeni banks do not merge to be able to face challenges of globalization.