Thursday, February 20, 2014

Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of globalisation for your country.

The speed with which the world is shrinking nowadays in terms of communication of data and information is massive. The people now feel near to each other even if they are living far away in term of physical distance. This phenomenon, resulting mainly from the advancement in transportation and communication facilities, is known as globalization. However, its pros and cons are debatable, not least from the perspective of my country.

Globalization, in Pakistan, has played a huge role in the reawakening of women via cultural exchange with other countries. When women view films and dramas of other countries, especially the developed ones, displaying the self dependent lifestyles of women there, they tend to compare themselves with them. They have begun to understand that domestic violence and emotional abuse that they are told to be legitimate since their childhood is actually unjust. However, this cannot be generalized though, since in tribal and rural areas the trend of watching “multi-channel cable television” is rare and people still live according to their traditional norms.

With globalization has come the opening of multinational food chains in Pakistan. This is a great advantage in that people now have better options like Mc Donald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hardee’s, et cetera, to choose snacks from. Although higher in price than food served by street hawkers and food stalls at the corner of every street, people get to eat better quality food prepared in hygienic conditions, and also get to enjoy a more pleasant eating environment. This has raised competition in the market, thus forcing traditional restaurants to compete in terms of food quality. These food chains also offer home delivery service all across the country, adding to their usefulness. Apart from serving quality food, they have increased the employment opportunities as well as the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), thus benefitting the country’s economy as a whole.

People now also have a large variety of products to choose from at the market, all thanks to globalization aided by better transportation facilities. People tend to trust International brands and buy them more, thus creating a market for them, sometimes so great a market that many of the brands open up their firms in Pakistan. A great example is the Unilever brand, whose products have prevailed the market strongly and won peoples’ trust so much that a recently initiated Pakistani brand of the same type, ”Engro foods”, is struggling hard to gain recognition.

Globalization has helped the country improve International relations. Pakistan is a developing country, facing energy crisis, and at times even a short fall of staple food crop. In such conditions good International relations help get aids and grants from developed countries. A good example here is when, during the initial years of Pakistan’s creation, countries like USA, UK, Australia and many others loaned money for creation of dams in the country. Financial aid and expertise also poured in after the catastrophic earthquake of October 2005, much thanks to the diplomatic ties the Government of that time had maintained with other nations. However, true credit goes to globalization process that has facilitated better cooperation among nations.

Pakistan being by and large an agricultural country, it wasn’t until recently that people have found great opportunities in agriculture, thanks to globalization. With the International trade blooming, demands for wheat, cotton, fruits, fish et cetera have swelled. This has helped cut down unemployment, and brought new agricultural techniques into the scene too. A new trend is of fish farming, which is appealing the private sector greatly.

Pakistan’s entertainment industry has had a great renewal with globalization. Dramas have gained a never before seen perfection in terms of scene plotting, acting, and camera use. Documentaries, for example the recent Oscar-winning “Saving Faces” by Sharmeen Obaid, gain International appreciation. Pakistani Films now play in world-wide theatres. All this has happened because globalization has helped people in these fields learn from other people’s work around the globe and apply them. Pakistani fashion, both the traditional Shalwar Kameez and the western attire, is appreciated within the country now and the people are seen running after Pakistani designer wear.

However, globalization has had its bad on the society too. Critics blame globalization for ruining traditional values. They say that the lack of respect for elders among the youth today is seen only after the Television and the Internet stepped in. They argue that Pakistan’s youth has learned all this from the more “free” societies of the Western countries, where the concept of freedom of speech surpasses in importance the need for elderly respect. Women are now stepping out of their houses to work, learn and earn, standing against acid burning, forced marriages, traditional practices of Karo Kari(honor killing) ,et cetera. Critics blame globalization for abandonment of aged parents at old homes, popularity of pornography, western outfits being more frequent in dramas than Shalwar Kameez, co-education gaining ground, Urdu (national language of Pakistan) being replaced by English in everyday conversations and many other socio-cultural changes.

It is also believed that multinational food chains, with their high quality and standards, are winning over customers. Local shops (dhabbas) and street stalls are unable to match them in any way and thus face financial loss. Also, multinational duty-free shopping centres as in “Metro cash and carry”, a renowned German-based firm operating in Karachi, Pakistan, offer variety, quality, and an enjoyable shopping that local shops and bazaars are unable to offer. The competition has become tougher than ever, all owing to globalization. Local shampoos, soaps, beauty products, and other consumer goods, as well as cottage industry spices, all have lost popularity in the market. The local produces are threatened because of globalization.

It is also believed that every election occurring in Pakistan has a direct relation to the elections occurring in the developed countries. That is, no election here is fair, and it is the choice of the governments of developed countries to decide who will get to win. This belief is further strengthened by constant International interference into Pakistan’s internal matters. People demand an explanation for the permission granted to drones planes to fly over Pakistani land, and when they do not get a satisfying response from authorities, they blame the developed nations. For example, the belief that Pakistan has always supported USA’s war on terror is now turning into an apprehension that we were always fighting someone else’s war and have lost way too much over it.

To conclude, globalization, more or less, has both advantages and disadvantages for my country. Rather than blindly denouncing it, our efforts should be focused in maximizing the benefits and minimizing the negative impacts of globalization. Otherwise, we would be left behind in the pace of human civilization.

(Disclaimer: The number of words in this essay is 1,117 which is much higher compared to the required essay length in GP, which is about 500 - 800 words maximum. The word limit is ignored so that the students can get more ideas on this specific topic.)

Author: Mehak Sohayl
The author is the former A level student from Beaconhouse School System (Karachi, Pakistan). She sat for the GP exam as a private candidate in October 2012 and passed with a B grade.

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