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The Beyond Branding blog

November 24, 2004

as communicators- can we rewrite future history of world trade? 

I’m only just starting to rewrite the history of world trade because frankly I prefer linking people across cities with blogs
There will never be a more honest pleas for world trade than this Indian guy who has spent a life connecting 150 rural villages, 180000 people interdependent on first getting their own water for agriculture, next getting their own microfinance for women as family makers; then working out how to do world trade from their context which appears to be cashew nuts and woodcrafts- 30 years of a place looking to connect with other places in long-term trades that will do both people’s good

Before the internetworking age, the molecule of world trade was people in two differently geographically located places. What these people needed was entrepreneurial transparency anchored also in deep responsibility for what they know most. This in turn was cultivated in democratic kind of involvement of the people in mapping back cultural impacts that would be compounded but this trade’s interaction with these contextually rich places. Mostly this needed to take place without interference from larger geographies such as nations or other big powers. If you look at any twin trade through history that sustained both parties as well as having deeply treasured cultural impacts that the world now enjoys, the vitality of this trading molecule should surely be what world trade economics respects above all else. So for the rest of this section, we will provide critical examples of how far world trade economics has slumped from the twinning of social responsibilities. It is X certificate stuff.

Worst Case 1 of World Trade Before Network Age
Bhopal. Essentially what happened here was a big corporation found a locality on the other side of the world where its manufacturing plant would not be subject to the regulations back home. Now maybe this started honourably- we Union Carbide can govern the risks but fast and free of concerns that local people would raise if there was anyone in the place that was highly educated about our sorts of chemicals. But clearly any such honourable idea gets eroded wherever 90-day number men have a monopoly over performance. And clearly unregulated Bhopal compounded total destruction of value for poor innocent people in Bhopal as well as most of Union Carbide’s other stakeholders. Have we learnt from this case is a question all the world should be asking? Remember today there are new variants such as: a global company deciding not to own a dirt facility abroad but to outsource it. Nor does this case’s sustainability trade logic apply only to businesses with molecules of high risk inherent in their evolution. It can happen wherever the second place where work is outsourced is undemocratic enough to permit sweat or slave labour conditions.

Worst Case 2 of World Trade Before Network Age
The EU’s agricultural policy and continental rivals it has led to have compounded misfortune of almost every human kind imaginable. Even Bill Emmott, today’s establishment oriented editor of The Economist, agrees that aspect of world trade defies economics old or new. We won’t go further with this case as you can goggle his words.

Worst Case 3 Oil 20th C
Clearly, what didn’t happen in most world trades of oil from their beginning was an agreement between a corporation on the one side and the broadest democracy of the pace with oil on the other. If it had, we would live in a different geo-political world with oil as a hi-trust human dynamic. Take just one country that is relatively easy for a Brit like me to listen to. Who around the days of Independence of Nigeria would have bet against this resource rich and country where women nurture children with so much kindness ( Why not expect this place to evolve as one of the greatest developing successes to enjoy freedom from Empire? The reason seems clear with hindsight. Instead of corporate interests in oil brokering an open democracy agreement with all the people of the place it did so with the fewest non-transparent people possible and in effect compounded the future of Nigeria’s governing powers to behave like that for decades.
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