United Nations Statistics and Goals

Statistics published by the World Trade Organization (WTO) indicate that world trade, defined as the total value of export, has increased about 400% over the last 30 years at a compound growth rate of 5.5% per year.

It is well known that countries open to global trade grow twice as fast as those that remain relatively closed to trade. At least two African nations, Nigeria and Tanzania, have chosen to rely on protectionism, foreign aid, and inefficient public policy. Today, they remain at the 1960s economic development levels of Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. In recent years, Latin America has started to embrace market liberalization. It has abandoned its old policies of a dominant state presence in the economy, import substitution, and domestic industry protection. The results of these changes are encouraging, and more countries are expected to jump on the globalization bandwagon.

According to the World Bank (2001), the world output is projected to increase 33% from $30 trillion in 2001 to $40 trillion in 2010. The disposable income in regions such as China, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America will double over the same period. About 300 million people (roughly the size of the population of the United States) will join the thriving worldwide middle class in the next 10 years (Kochhar 2015).

On the other hand, World Bank statistics also show that, from 1990 to 2000, only about 800 million people moved out of absolute poverty, which is defined as having less than one U.S. dollar per day of income. As of 2001, 50% of the world population lived on less than $2 per day. Eighty percent of the global population lives on less than 20% of the global income.

The United Nations (UN) has declared that one of its goals is to decrease the number of people in absolute poverty by 50% by 2015. Globalization is regarded as a key process in achieving this very meaningful goal (Lamberton 2002).

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