Forging Ahead Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Globalization

“History clearly tells us that closing borders or increasing protectionism is not the way to go. Many countries have tried this route, and just as many have failed. We need to pursue policies that extend the benefits of openness and integration while alleviating their side effects. What we need is a globalization that works for all.” 

(Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund Managing Director, in her speech to the C.D. Howe Institute, 13/9/2016)

We live in an era of globalization, the global flow of trade has more than doubled since the 1990s with more open economies that lower the cost of goods and services. Since the end of the Cold War, the productive global labour force has grown vastly, contributing to new manufacturing and services throughout the developing and the developed worlds, boosting demand for energy and increasing consumptions. In the meantime, the intensity and scale of flows of capital, talents, skills, technologies, information, and ideas have been on the rapid rise over the past two decades.

Despite the vision of globalization to raise all boats in poor and rich countries alike, many countries remain on the fringes and some are even falling further behind. Their exclusions are due to many reasons, including, among other things, competing interests, poor governance, discrimination, diseases, absence of infrastructure, weakening economies, and environmental challenges. The stark numbers on unemployment, underemployment, working poverty and income inequality translate into major setbacks for the aspirations of hundreds of millions of women and men and their families and communities. The disconnection between the preoccupations of people and global political elites is deepening, with many damaging consequences for democracy, the rule of law, social cohesion and human development. 

Globalization offers incredible opportunities and potentials, however, achieving an inclusive globalization that can combine economic dynamism with social justice in a sustainable way for the people of the developed and the developing world alike is a key public policy challenge facing governments today. Against the backdrop of new opportunities, unprecedented challenges and shifting paradigms with the rise of populism, anti-immigration, and anti-globalization sentiments, the biennial Lien International Conference on Good Governance this year with the theme on “Forging Ahead Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Globalization” hopes to engage leading international policymakers, academics from any different disciplines, and practitioners to come together on a common platform to exchange thoughts and ideas on governance and policies that respond to the call for an inclusive and sustainable globalization.