Will the Coronavirus bring an end to Globalization?

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Atharul Islam
Coronavirus has risked all forms of cooperation, connectivity, and collaboration under the umbrella of Globalization. Havoc! That triggered a significant degree of social disintegration since the pandemic broke out last January, seems to stay more. Further strengthening the pandora of stances, to a sudden end of the Globalized World. But it isn’t so simple as it sounds- it takes us back to the era of spice trade during the early 1700s which attracted the East India company from far away to engage in trade in the subcontinent. And similar traders across the world exploited this opportunity. Thus, the idea of globalization has always evolved into its better version than once we found it. Many pandemics have passed away namely, 1920 Spanish flu and 2003 SARS and terrific world wars happened in 1918 and 1945. Fortunately, still, the world survived and learned lessons. Will the world act alike after the situation normalizes? This leads us to ponder upon current and future developments in the post-corona world. China has rested its hegemony in the globalized world insidiously, unraveling new vulnerabilities of established Global-Supply-Chain. According to states, China accounts for 4% of the total global output at the time of SARS in 2003, which has now surmounted to 16% – this forecast the huge dependence of the world over the Chinese manufacturing industry. This adversely affected the supply-chain as industries were put a halt. Causing global production of laptops to fell by as much as 50 percent in February, and the production of smartphones could fall by 12 percent this coming quarter. This has also cautioned many big cooperate sectors to reconsider their former policies focused on cheaper resources, which had formerly attracted them. Although, China has influenced the world’s global supply chain, in turn, it has helped chunk of billion people lifted out of poverty and providing its inexpensive goods and services in trade. So will the nations continue to rely on Chinese structure or act to limit their dependency through alternative means around the world. Re-shoring will secure the more reliable and certain supply chain, but with additional costs. Like in the case of Europe, bringing back many businesses located in china will boost a country domestically. For instance, the GDP, GNP, and employment rates would rise and limit the loss in future ups and downs. Subsequently, the already flourishing industries; tourism, and education would shrink significantly, which is expected to cast around $30 billion (US) loss to the tourism industry and a substantial decline in the students applying to universities for the upcoming season. Hence the results will not be all good rather cut both ways. The recent, tussle of protectionist policies between the US and China seems far insecure to decrease the interdependency. Since Trump got elected in 2017, he has levied higher tariffs over imported Chinese goods triggering into economic warfare. Though, the US and China have joint trade of around $659.8 billion, the effort to cut the deficit in the trade of $378.6 billion has costed both dears. Resultantly, the relation got tense as both parties continued blaming each other for the coronavirus. There’s Cold A war that seems to end no sooner nor the interdependency. Will globalization still survive? While the world was physically disconnected, humanity chose alternatives to reconnect with themselves and once again work towards cooperation, collaboration, and creativity to utilize the opportunity. Internet – proved revolutionary in times of difficulties, as people shifted to, online – working platform, and the demand for online jobs groomed tremendously under lockdown. People turned to online websites to do purchases at home. Corporates instructed their employees to work at home- collaborating with online meetings, webinars, and discussion through skype. People rushed to social media causing a sudden spike in all social media outlets. According to the studies, there was around 76% hike in web surfing in the first week following the lockdown. More importantly, the education institutions turned to e-learning as an alternative across the world. The nations also helped, supported, and cooperated with each other to combat the virus effectively. Like, China sent medical equipment – masks, safety kits, and ventilators to poorer countries. Meanwhile, other states also played their crucial role in tackling the coronavirus from spreading. Hence, it signifies that the thrust and hope for globalization to survive is still there. We are not forced towards interdependency, but it is for a reason- that not everyone has enough of everything to fulfill their needs and wants.  Thus, globalization overcomes this scarcity. using the means of specialization, we export – goods and services we are best at and import ones we lack. However, it has proved a win-win game for long enough. Like the western countries have scarce resources of energy which they suffice through bulk oil reserves Middle Eastern nations own. Similarly, like Saudi – Arabia struggle with their lower agricultural production, in response to the fertile lands of south Asian regions export their huge yield to them. Any curtailment in these trades might result in catastrophe – in the shape of humanitarian crises, malnutrition and starvation, and hunger. Hence, globalization is bound to survive for the survival of humanity. To curb, contain, limit, and constraint the globalization can never cease it but might slow down its process, until the joint – efforts are rejuvenated. I hope that the world will act alike after WWII – through similar cooperative efforts like the UN, the Marshall Plan, and General Trade and Tariff Agreement. Now, there is an absence of leadership, who could lead the world in times of misery. If not America this time, China might take a lead, backed by a chunk of power – nations.

 

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