“A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas.” Wise words by Victor Hugo, and hopefully one day attainable for all. World Trade was at 16% of the world GDP in 1914, after the first wave of globalization.1 Today, goods and services exports amount to more than double that percentage – to say nothing of the vast cross-border stocks and flows of investment. What is more, about a hundred years ago, most consumer goods were produced in one country. Today, the vast majority of the products you use every day are a mix of components, logistics and services delivered by workers all over the world. For each country it now depends on finding a place in the regional and global value chains. Trade is no longer a means of exchange for finished products; it lies in the production process itself. What is more interesting in Trade’s evolution is its geostrategic relevance. Trade has always been more than its economic and commercial components. It’s become politically influenced. And thanks to globalisation this is only becoming more set in stone.
Reactie van Michel Flamée: Reactie op de bijdrage van Karel De Gucht
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