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          Speak up for globalization

          • International Herald Tribune, 14 June 2000

          In a plea for global corporate statesmanship, an article on the editorial pages says that multinational corporations should do more to champion the cause of globalization at a time of "extraordinary opportunities" for wealth creation and progress.

          The writers, David de Pury and Jean-Pierre Lehmann, say that the world economy must not be allowed to deviate from the direction it embarked on after communism collapsed. But there is real cause for concern in the absence of political leadership, including the conspicuous absence of a spirited promotion of the virtues of the open liberal economy.
          "The world's corporate leaders in particular must do more. Many multinational corporations have exhibited innovativeness, dynamism and strategic vision by acting as agents of profound change in accelerating the process of globalization.
          "Yet, with few exceptions, they have proved embarrassingly reticent, inarticulate and unconvincing in expressing their convictions and explaining their actions and the benefits that can result."
          The writers describe the international political economy as never having known such unity and such promise. This "extraordinary era" had witnessed considerable achievements in wealth creation on a global scale, even though "Utopia has not arrived."
          "Wealth has been created, but unevenly, as the pace of technological change has caused income gaps to widen both between countries and within them. Widespread poverty, disease and ignorance remain. These problems continuously and vigorously need to be addressed.
          "Most important, however, the world economy must not be allowed to deviate from the direction it embarked on after communism collapsed. "The victory of liberalism must not be jeopardized, let alone reversed."

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