3rd Year Week 5 MT03

Topic: The world economy and the globalization

 Globalization, Alive and Well By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

But maybe the most important reason why globalization is alive and well post-9/11 is that while pampered college students and academics in the West continue to debate about whether countries should globalize, the two biggest countries in the world, India and China -- who represent one-third of humanity -- have long moved beyond that question.

They have decided that opening their economies to trade in goods and services is the best way to lift their people out of abject poverty and are now focused simply on how to globalize in the most stable manner.

Some prefer to go faster, and some prefer to phase out currency controls and subsidies gradually, but the debate about the direction they need to go is over.

''Globalization fatigue is still very much in evidence in Europe and America, while in places like China and India, you find a great desire for participation in the economic expansion processes,'' said Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Congress Party's top economic adviser. ''. . .

Even those who are suspicious now want to find a way to participate, but in a way that manages the risks and the pace.

So we're finding ways to 'glocalize,' to do it our own way. It may mean a little slower growth to manage the social stability, but so be it. . . .

I just spent a week in Germany and had to listen to all these people there telling me how globalization is destroying India and adding to poverty, and I just said to them, 'Look, if you want to argue about ideology, we can do that, but on the level of facts, you're just wrong.' ''

That truth is most striking in Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, where hundreds of thousands of young Indians, most from lower-middle-class families, suddenly have social mobility, motor scooters and apartments after going to technical colleges and joining the Indian software and engineering firms providing back-room support and research for the world's biggest firms -- thanks to globalization. Bangalore officials say each tech job produces 6.5 support jobs, in construction and services.

''Information technology has made millionaires out of ordinary people [in India] because of their brainpower alone -- not caste, not land, not heredity,'' said Sanjay Baru, editor of India's Financial Express. ''India is just beginning to realize that this process of globalization is one where we have an inherent advantage.''

Taking advantage of globalization to develop the Indian I.T. industry has been ''a huge win in terms of foreign exchange [and in] self-confidence,'' added Nandan Nilekani, chief executive of Infosys, the Indian software giant. ''So many Indians come and say to me that 'when I walk through immigration at J.F.K. or Heathrow, the immigration guys look at me with respect now.' The image of India changed from a third-world country of snake charmers and rope tricks to the software brainy guys.''