Fiveflows HenriSivonenSMALL 000

Photo: H. Sivonen

Secular China is set to become the world's largest Bible factory, expected to produce a quarter of the world's Bibles by next year. More generally, according to WTO figures, the total volume of global merchandise exports has risen by almost 40% in the last five years. This continuation of current trends suggests that globalisation is set to continue. Markets are becoming ever more interconnected, some New Yorkers are outsourcing their personal chores to "Bangalore Butlers" in India. Given these facts, is it still possible that the five flows of globalisation - goods, services, capital, people and information - could slow?

Emerging markets represent competition to the established OECD countries which could result in protectionist policies slowing the flow of goods, services and labour; capital flows could be imposed over fears over foreign ownership, and governments' desire for control could impede the flow of information over the Internet. The uninterrupted flow of globalisation is by no means certain.

This is part of Outsights 21 Drivers for the 21st Century ™, a future-orientated scan of the 21 key forces shaping this century.

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