Trade flows also increased 12-fold in the past fifty years as a result of the removal of natural and artificial barriers. Exports are now US$7 trillion a year, with more than a fifth of the world’s goods and services being traded.
Capital flows expanded even faster, with Foreign Direct Investment amounting to US$400 billion in
1997, seven times its real level in the 1970’s and portfolio and other short-term capital flows amounted to US$2 trillion in gross terms, three times what they were in the ‘80’s. These in turn pale in comparison with what has happened in the foreign exchange markets, where volumes increased over a hundred times between the mid-70’s and the mid-90’s, with a US$1.5 trillion daily turnover in 1998. At the same time, international bank lending grew more than sixteen times, from US$265 million in 1973 to
US$4.2 trillion in 1994.
The Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which has given globalization greater impetus in the last decade, is expected to increase global income by an estimated
US$212-US$510 billion (from trade and efficiency gains and higher rates of return on capital) by 2001.
Movements of people have also increased. Tourism more than doubled between 1980 and 1996, from
260 million to 590 million travellers a year. Despite tight restrictions, international migration continues to grow, and workers’ remittances amounted to US$58 billion in 1996.
In the information and