Globalization cannot be stopped. When I was at university, admittedly a good while ago, removing trade barriers and sourcing from the most efficient producer was always portrayed as being positive. If problems should arise, then the market would correct itself.

Of late, however, globalization has been increasingly called into question. While there is a general consensus that the world has become richer as a result of globalization, this wealth has not been evenly spread, and there are many in the world that have failed to be pulled out of poverty or have seen their incomes decrease.

We may still believe in market forces, but those that once benefitted from them are now beginning to see that there is always a cost somewhere, and tighter regulation is becoming more attractive, at least to those that are feeling the pain.

New order  

In addition to this, those that have become richer have also become better educated - and with education questions are asked. One only has to look at the changes taking place in the Middle East to see how rising living standards and education can lead to instability and change. Far be it for me to say whether this change will be good or bad, but it certainly disrupts established ways of doing things and leads to uncertainty.

In a global economy, change is inevitable. If one looks at the poultry industry, there are now countries exporting meat that many consumers have only dreamt about. And while there may be consumer movements in some countries encouraging the purchase of locally-produced goods, imported product still takes up a significant share of shelves in supermarkets and space in restaurants.

And, of course, as new and more efficient producers enter the market, the space occupied by established producers will be surrendered. While other factors increasingly come into play for some consumer groups, traditional wisdom has it that consumers want the cheapest possible product and country of origin is no safeguard.

Efficiency is king  

So in a globalised market, efficient production is king. Barriers to trade that still remain are, little by little, falling. In a world with no economic countries, only the fittest will survive.

The opportunities to become the fittest do exist, and they exist not only in the form of management, but also in the form of inputs. Take a look through the pages of our Who’s Who and think carefully about the choices that need to be made to ensure your place in the world economy. And in a world that has no economic countries, you are in the global economy - like it or not.