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Globalization: The 2006-07 Balance Sheet (Part II)

How did leaders from around the world view globalization in 2006 — and what does this mean for 2007?

January 5, 2007

How did leaders from around the world view globalization in 2006 — and what does this mean for 2007?

Globalization brought people, places and goods closer together than ever before in 2006 — but not without sparking considerable trepidation in many nations around the world. We present the year’s best and most intriguing thoughts on the subject from across the globe — in the hope that knowledge gleaned from 2006 will prove a useful guide for 2007.

"The next phase of globalization will most likely have an Asian face. Americans and Europeans will not find it comfortable."
(Philip Stephens, Financial Times columnist, March 2006)

"Globalization has so far been a storm. The hurricane is yet to come. We have to prepare."
(Heinrich von Pierer, supervisory board chairman and former CEO of Siemens, March 2006)

"Globalization is making mass migration a reality — and only global development will make it a manageable reality."
(British Prime Minister Tony Blair, May 2006)

"Globalization has shifted the balance of power in the labor market in favor of companies."
(The Economist, February 2006)

"This is an era of globalization, cross-border investment and liberalization — not one in which investors are judged by the color of their skin."
(Kamal Nath, India’s trade and industry minister, February 2006)

"For all globalization’s benefits, all the talk of friendship, the Americans count their dividends at home, the British count theirs and we count ours, while the majority count their losses."
(Vladislav Surkov, deputy chief of staff at the Kremlin, July 2006)

"A modern laptop often looks more like the collective work of a small United Nations than the manufacturing export of a single country."
(Denise Zheng, research assistant at the Progressive Policy Institute, July 2006)

"Globalization cost two to three million Indian workers their jobs in the domestic automobile, computer and soft-drink industries when foreign companies entered India. But against that, weigh the 250 million Indians who have been lifted into the middle class by globalization."
(Narayana Murthy, non-executive chairman and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies Ltd., September 2006)

"The early 19th century was a time of global equity. There may have been significant poverty inside nations — but there was much less between them."
(Ashutosh Sheshabalaya, head of Europe-based IndiaAdvisory, October 2006)

"I know how much people yearn for security. The world doesn’t work that way. Politics can’t eliminate insecurity."
(President of Germany Horst Köhler, November 2006)

"Globalization induces something close to hysteria in both its critics and its advocates."
(Will Hutton, chief executive of The Work Foundation and author of "Writing on the Wall," November 2006)

"France is practicing ‘globalization à la carte’ — profiting from globalization while resisting others’ efforts to do the same with French companies."
(Patrick Sabatier, deputy editor of Libératio, May 2006)

“The present, housing-led slowdown in the United States would once have written the script for the entire world economy. Today, self-sustaining growth in China and India may mean that the world economy is for the first time in a century decoupling from the forces of American determination.”
(Jeremy Warner, columnist for The Independent, December 2006)

“The globalization of the energy sector makes energy security indivisible. Our common future in the area of energy means common responsibilities, risks and benefits.”
(President of Russia Vladimir Putin, February 2006)

“Totalitarian Islamic regimes are in a deep crisis. Globalization means that they’re exposed to considerable change, and they also fear the reformist forces developing among émigrés in the West. They’ll use threatening gestures against the West, and the success they achieve with their threats, to intimidate these people.”
(Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former member of parliament in the Netherlands, February 2006)