Globalization is the creation and expansion of economic and social connections among people and organizations around the world. The process is fuelled by the movement of people, goods, ideas, technology, and money across national boundaries.
Regionalism just like globalization is also seen as somewhat vague in its meaning. First off a region is not just defined as a geographical unit but rather also as a social system, an acting subject with a distinct identity, and an organized corporation in a certain field like cultural, economy or security. Regionalism in the economic sphere has proved to be very effective in providing economic strength and helping to secure markets.
The populations of different cultures have interacted and established economic and cultural links for centuries. In the middle Ages, merchants and explorers exchanged goods and ideas throughout Europe, across North Africa, and between the Middle East and Asia. However, in recent decades, globalization has advanced at an increasingly rapid pace. Two major forces in this development have been the Internet, which has sped up communications, and businesses, which have expanded to reach markets on distant continents.
Although people still identify with their local communities and national governments, many increasingly see themselves as part of a global society. However, globalization does not affect all regions in the same way. Individuals and corporations in industrialized countries tend to benefit more than those in developing countries.
A number of international organizations were created during and after World War II (1939-1945) to establish or improve economic and political cooperation around the globe. In 1944 representatives from the United States, Britain, and their allies met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to set up the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The World Bank provides loans for major development projects, such as dams and oil pipelines. The IMF manages the exchange of national currencies and provides short-term loans to help nations improve their economies.
The following year, the United Nations was founded with the goals of maintaining international peace and security and solving economic, social, and humanitarian problems. In the years that followed, regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States, the European Community (later the European Union), and the Organization of African Unity, formed to address regional issues and pursue common goals. All of these economic and political organizations have contributed to global cooperation and the expansion of business and cultural activity across national borders.
At the same time, many countries signed trade agreements that have greatly increased international commerce and changed patterns of employment. The 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established rules for international trade, focusing on the removal of tariffs and other regulations. In 1995 GATT was replaced with the World Trade Organization (WTO), which monitors countries bound by the GATT agreement. By 2008, 153 countries were members of the WTO.
Several nations have agreed to set up regional free-trade zones by removing tariffs and other barriers to commercial ...