A fundamental shift is occurring in the world economy. We are moving progressively away from a world in which national economies were relatively isolated from each other by barriers to cross-border trade and investment - by distance, time zones, language, national differences in government regulation, culture and business systems. And we are moving toward a world in which national economies are merging into an interdependent global economic system, commonly referred to as globalization.
The electronics industry is the largest and fastest growing manufacturing industry in the world. The rapid rate of globalization is made possible by the rapid development and expansion of the Internet economy, which in turn is fueled by the unprecedented growth of high-tech electronics manufacturing.
In just one human generation, the high-tech revolution has spread out from its birth place Silicon Valley to encompass vast sections of the globe. A typical computer now contains components manufactured and assembled all over the world - semiconductor chips made in New Mexico or Scotland or Malaysia, a disk drive made in Singapore or Thailand, a CRT monitor made in Japan, circuit boards made in China and assembled in Mexico or Costa Rica.
As the global economy becomes larger, more complex and more inter-dependent global trade issues have begun to dominate international relations. International bodies such as The World Trade Organisation, and treaties such as North American Free Trade Agreement have been enacted to set the rules for international commerce. These new initiatives are driven by international trade and business concerns, and global high-tech giants often play a dominant role. Environmental labor and human rights issues have taken a back seat.
What is Globalization?
Globalization refers to the shift towards a more integrated and inter-dependent world economy. Globalization has two main components: globalization of markets and globalization of production.