Updated on April 16, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Globalization Meaning

Globalization is defined as the extension of trade, commerce and culture of an economy across different nations. It allows economies to exchange domestic products, services, technologies, ideas and other resources globally.

It facilitates developed nations to make foreign direct investmentsForeign Direct InvestmentsA foreign direct investment (FDI) is made by an individual or an organization, into a business located in a foreign country. The host nation receives job creation prospects, advanced technology, a higher standard of living, infrastructural development, and overall economic more (FDIs) for utilizing cheaper resources of developing countries. The process increases employment opportunities, productivity, living standards and earnings of emerging economies.

Key Takeaways

  • Globalization is the process of cross-border exchange and free flow of resources between different countries of the world.
  • It involves the worldwide integration of technology, ideas, knowledge, capital, human resource and culture.
  • Many companies go global or outsource their business operations to reduce their operational cost. Doing this helps in acquiring economical labor and wider resources available in foreign countries.
  • Globalization is a crucial concept in economics as it has many pros and cons. It has been criticized for the uneven distribution of wealth and power amongst a few companies, dominating the international market.

Globalization Explained

Globalization Explained

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Globalization establishes domestic organizations in foreign countries through the free movement of capital, trade, information, culture, people, etc. Moreover, it is a business expansion phenomenon allowing mobilization of resources amongst nations to ensure their optimum utilization for global growth.

Often domestic markets have limitations like high cost of productionCost Of ProductionProduction Cost is the total capital amount that a Company spends in producing finished goods or offering specific services. You can calculate it by adding Direct Material cost, Direct Labor Cost, & Manufacturing Overhead Cost. read more, expensive labor, inadequate raw materials, and strict laws. Shifting the business unit to a more economical and resourceful country is often considered more feasible by businesses leading to globalization. When companies step outside of their geographical boundaries, they experience a different culture. International laws usually govern global business units.

The history and origin of globalization can be traced back to the 1st century BC when Chinese luxury products made it to Rome using the Silk Road. Later Asia and Europe started importing and exporting silk and spices. However, it was post World War I that global trade was refrained to safeguard the interest of the local traders. Later, the US, after World War II, promoted international trade for boosting the falling global GDP.

After the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the formal infrastructure for cross border trade activities was developed, facilitating the free flow of trade. As a result, in 1989, the global GDP rose to 14%. Since then, many nations have entered into trade agreements and treaties to promote international tradeInternational TradeInternational Trade refers to the trading or exchange of goods and or services across international borders. read more activities.

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Globalization Explained in Video


Globalization Characteristics


Let us look at some real-world examples of globalization in different sectors to understand why it is such an important concept in economics.

Globalization in business

With the World Trade Organization (WTO) and United Nations (UN) allowing international trade reforms and agreements on tariffs, it has become easier for the domestic entities to go global. Additionally, due to the FDIs, many companies can now find a firm footing in the international markets.

For instance, this report indicates that by 2028, the global handbag market is expected to reach $78.46 billion. The industry is dominated by renowned global manufacturers like Calvin Klein Inc. and Louis Vuitton Malletier. In addition, the creation of eco-friendly handbags owing to the environmentally conscious consumers has added to the demand spike.

Globalization in Food

When nations connect, they exchange a lot more than the products and services. Food is perhaps one of the strongest segments to have changed due to the interaction of different cultures. People experienced the flavors, cuisines and traditions of other nations, especially through global food chains like McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme. It also led to the fusion of cuisines.

Moreover, the sharing of farming techniques, fertilizers, biotechnology, and agricultural practices among the nations facilitated them to grow non-indigenous crops. Grocery chains such as Walmart have been offering a variety of international food in different nations.

For example, Andean superfood quinoa’s popularity became so intense in American and European countries that their prices went through the roof. As a result, the local people of Bolivia and Peru, where quinoa was a staple food, could no longer afford it.

Globalization in Culture

International cultural fusion has facilitated nations to share their art, music, values, ideas, beliefs, traditions, customs, food, festivals, and languages. Employees and companies operating outside their home country often get exposed to a new culture. The entertainment industry also plays a crucial role in introducing viewers to foreign cultures.

For instance, yoga is considered an Indian tradition, which was anciently confined within the geographical boundaries of India. Today, it is widely practised worldwide for physical and mental well-being. June 21 is observed as the International Yoga Day across the globe, as declared by the United Nations in 2015. Hundreds of countries plan special events for celebrating the day.

Globalization in Technology

Technology is the carrier of development, and it travels from one country to another to upgrade different sectors of the nations. With the emergence of the internet, globalization has reached a new horizon in the field of technology. Since some countries are ahead in technical know-how, it has helped economies solve some of their woes cheaper. For instance: the emergence of 5G technology has been the talk of the town in many countries due to its innovative applications.

Globalization Pros

Globalization Cons

While companies go global, they face numerous hurdles such as language barriers, opposition and competition from the local sellers. In addition, global business expansion requires enormous capital investment coupled with risks like legal compliance or political unrest. On the other hand, it is a pitfall for the local entities that lose their customers to foreign products and services.

Other challenges include the immigration of talented personnel from the domestic region to foreign countries. Also, many successful business organizations migrate to other nations. Sometimes, most of these companies belong to a single industry.

When world economies are interconnected, the economic downfall in one nation may affect the functioning of the other countries. Besides, a handful of leading companies rule the world, resulting in uneven distribution of power and wealthWealthWealth refers to the overall value of assets, including tangible, intangible, and financial, accumulated by an individual, business, organization, or more. Moreover, it has often increased labor exploitation in developing nations through poor working conditions, low wages and unethical practices.


What is globalization?

Globalization is defined as the practice of free trade across the international market. It paves the way to exchange products, services, resources, ideas and technology from one nation to another.

Is globalization good or bad?

Globalization has many advantages and disadvantages. It opens up the international markets for local enterprises, providing them with expansion opportunities. However, it is a two-way sword since a higher demand for imported products adversely affects the local businesses. At times, the nation encounter displacement of a whole industry to a different country, creating a scarcity of products and jobs in the home country.

Why is globalization important?

From the corporate perspective, globalization is essential for international business expansion. It fulfills the need for acquiring newer resources available in other countries including the labor at cheaper costs. Moreover, it promotes global economic activities, nurtures developing countries, improves social justice to benefit the world economy.

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