Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Int'l Business is becoming just "Business"

To some of you, this may seem obvious:

"International trade" is becoming just "trade." There is a lot of talk about the new global market, and when the conversation continues from there, the topics I usually hear discussed are:

1. Loss/Metamorphosis of cultures
2. Increased competition
3. Rise of so and so country because of globalizing forces (usually China or India)

That's not all though!

I suspect that there will be some other emerging trends that will pick up speed. I have not heard much about these:

1. International NGOs will rise in prominence/influence and finally grow some teeth.
2. Countries' sovereignty will start to be undermined slowly by NGOs.

Really these two go ideas go hand in hand-but I think they look better when they are neatly separated.

As we all know, for the most part, countries can only assert jurisdiction within their own borders. As trade becomes more inter-national, companies will act strongly to prevent being subjected to some foreign court in a foreign country with a foreign language (scary) when business partnerships go sour. Consequently, they turn to some body/entity for a stabilizing influence.

Individual countries can't provide it because of the jurisdiction-issue. Private arbitration companies are willing and may provide judgment but again, they have trouble enforcing. Companies will turn increasingly to NGOs to do the task. My guess is that NGOs will be more than happy to oblige because of the accompanying increased authority.

This will lead to NGOs beginning to set the trend for business practices.

Naturally, companies will clamor for their judgments to be enforceable and will act in their home countries (NGO member states) to give up just enough authority to the NGO to enforce these resolutions/judgments.

In the end we have reduced state sovereignty and increased NGO prominence.

This raises an additional number of questions- Next posting.

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