Banking & finance

Globalization holds the key to ending world poverty

  • 30 June 2000

Writing in the International Herald Tribune, ICC Secretary General Maria Livanos Cattaui has called on governments to resist being stampeded into futile attempts to stop or slow globalization.

She said: “Those who really want to alleviate the poverty of hundreds of millions of people in the developing world should look at practical remedies instead of making globalization a scapegoat.”

Deploring recent UN figures indicating that the number of people living in absolute poverty has increased since 1995, the ICC Secretary General says: “This terrible picture is depicted as an indictment of globalization, evidence that it has failed.”

“Given the steady rise in the world population – up by almost 400 million to 6.1 billion over the five years – how much worse would the figures have been without the benefits of trade liberalization, foreign investment and the knowledge economy?”

Mrs Cattaui observed that numbers can be used to prove almost anything. “But there can be no getting around the fact that economic growth must be the point of departure for all improvements in living standards.

“How will it help the poor if governments try to strangle globalization by stemming the flow of trade, information and capital – the three components of the global economy?”

She added: “It is surely no more than common sense to say that the more wealth in cash and kind that is moving around the world and the more widely it is distributed, the better for everybody.”