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Economy and Globalization

Our Globalist Factsheet explores the forces shaping the global economy in 2005.

April 15, 2005

Our Globalist Factsheet explores the forces shaping the global economy in 2005.

For the first time, the increasingly integrated global economy lets workers around the world compete against each other. This has led to huge gains in efficiency and development, yet also causes economic pain, as jobs move effortlessly across borders. Our Globalist Factsheet explores the forces shaping the global economy in 2005.

Were Western countries always the dominant force in the world economy?

Back in 1820, China had the world’s largest economy — accounting for nearly 29% of global GDP — while India accounted for about 16%. In contrast, the United States accounted for only 1.8% of global GDP.
(International Herald Tribune)

Where do they stand today?

By 2001, China’s share of the global economy stood at 12%, while India's share was 5%. The U.S. share of world GDP stood at about 22%.
(Financial Times)

What is the volume of global trade?

In 2004, global trade flows amounted to almost $30 million a minute — or about $15 trillion a year.
(The Globalist)

How large will the global economy be by 2050?

According to 2004 projections, the global economy is expected to grow from $54 trillion in 2005 to $143 trillion in 2030 — an annual growth rate of 4%.
(World Bank)

And what global shifts will this continued growth spur?

The developing countries’ share of the world economy will rise from 46% in 2005 to 51% in 2030 — with China’s share of global output increasing from 13% to 22% in the same period.
(World Bank)

When will China reach the current U.S. standard of living?

If China were to continue growing at a rate of 8% a year, its annual income per person — currently around $5,300 — would reach the current U.S. level of $38,000 by the year 2031.
(Earth Policy Institute)

What makes it hard at present for industrialized countries to compete against China?

The cost of labor in China currently is only 3% that of labor in the United States.
(Financial Times)

In which areas of the world do U.S. manufacturers have most of their operations?

As of 2004, U.S. multinationals have nearly 11,000 manufacturing affiliates abroad, with nearly half based in the European Union (5,297) — and another 1,000 in Canada and 300 in Japan.
(U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

What is the global picture on unemployment?

The average unemployment rate for the 27 countries of the OECD is 8.8%. Among the major economies, only Britain and Japan have unemployment rates lower than that of the United States.
(Wall Street Journal)

In what area does India still lag behind?

Even though India's trade is growing by about 20% a year, the country accounts for just 0.8% of world trade — while having 16% of the world's population.
(World Trade Organization)

Have aid flows to Africa been put to good use?

Over the last 43 years, Africa has received $568 billion in foreign aid (in 2004 dollars). Some 25% of this aid went toward consultant salaries.
(Washington Post)

Which country's economy continues to dominate sub-Saharan Africa?

South Africa generates more than 38% of sub-Saharan Africa's GDP — even though its population of 45 million equals only 6.4% of the region's total population.
(Wall Street Journal)

Where does Brazil lead the world?

As of 2004, Brazil accounts for 82% of the global export market for orange juice. The country is also the top global exporter of soybeans (with a 38% share of the global market), sugar made from sugar cane (29%), coffee beans (28%), processed coffee (44%) and tobacco (23%).
(Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture)

And finally, how much power does OPEC really have to influence oil prices?

As of 2004, only four OPEC countries are ranked among the world's top ten oil producers: Saudi Arabia (first), Iran, (fourth), Venezuela (eighth) and the United Arab Emirates (tenth).