Tuesday, January 10, 2006
In mismanaged countries a way must be found to change the basic system. Many multinationals have done just this, as a matter of course, while at the same time making the profits upon which their survival depends. Their initiatives not only provide jobs and raise incomes; they also improve education and give individuals motivation to pursue it. Education, after all, requires more than just buildings, teachers and texts.
The world?s multinational corporations ? 63,000 of them at last count ? frequently find themselves the target of criticism by the world?s anti-globalisation protesters. MNCs, the protesters charge, are principally responsible for the impoverishment of many of the world?s six billion people.
While global corporations have unquestionably brought greater wealth, power and opportunity to the poor world, especially China and India, according to the World Bank some two billion people still live in countries or regions that have been left behind, becoming in fact less globalised. In these places trade has diminished in relation to national income, foreign investment and economic growth have stagnated, and poverty has risen. Most Africans were better off 40 years ago.
The average per capita income of Muslims ? from Morocco to Bangladesh and beyond to Indonesia and the Philippines ? is half the world average. Thus while globalisation has benefited many, one-sixth of the world?s people live in what the International Finance Corporation calls ?deep poverty,? as described in a 2004 speech by Peter Woicke, then IFC?s executive vice president.