We have always said that “the world is flat because of globalization”. Globalization has been happening for more than decades along with human inventions, creativity, and passion to build new things. The emergence of a global market facilitated by the technology, information systems, and 5G, telecommunications systems that are shrinking the world from the medium size to small size, also caused cultural, social, and even political changes around the world. In 2019, the new disease, the COVID-19 was identified and the disease changed the acceleration of Globalization very quickly. And the COVID — 19 has impacted Globalization in a good and bad way at the same time. But I will disagree that the statement “the COVID -19 pandemic destructive the movement of globalization process” according to my findings in this assignment.
2. Quick Overview Of Globalization and the COVID-19
Globalization is the term that we used to define the growing interdependence of the world’s economy, politics, and cultures. And we have assumed that Globalization is all about trade and travel within a short time very quickly. The coffee beans from Africa can be sold in the United States of America’s coffee shops and the bananas from Mexico can be sold at Berlin’s grocery store. If you have a passport, you can work in Yangon and relax at Ngapali beach with a one-way ticket. When the COVID-19 pandemic hits the world, people stop traveling and some trading has stopped. People choose to stay at home and work from home because of the spread of disease. If you believe Globalization is all about trade and travel, you might think that globalization is stopped and destroyed by the COVID — 19 pandemic. But please have a look at these data.
You can see that in 2021 Global trade numbers hit a record high of $28.5 trillion. We are shocked when the COVID 19 hits globally at first but as we humans are good at resilience, we have found ways to stay alive and keep globalization going forward and expand quickly. And the COVID — 19 teaches us how to do paperless trade and the power of e-commerce for accelerated globalization and the state of globalization is far stronger than we expected.
3. How the COVID-19 accelerated Globalization
We were shocked and thought that the COVID — 19 is a pandemic that human civilization could not pass. But as the COVID-19 impacts our traditional economy and trade business, we found new ways to fight those barriers with technology. Technology has always had a main role for decades but this time we are changing and transforming very quickly and seeing the power of technology in areas of Trade, Entertainment/ Culture, Financial, and the Workplace. There is one cartoon that is highlighting how the COVID — 19 has led the digital transformation for companies, organizations, and countries.
First of all, I would like to highlight how the COVID — 19 has improved the Trading in Economic Globalization with Trade Tech.
- How the COVID — 19 improves the Trading with Trade Tech
The COVID — 19 has severely affected international trade. The COVID — 19 has highlighted how we need to rethink our traditional Trading techniques with new, innovative technology and tools to give us better trade management and risk management. The world is facing serious disruption of business trading processes, caused by the COVID — 19 pandemic outbreak. Not only corporate companies but also Governments need to apply new tools and technologies to overcome the barriers caused by COVID — 19. There is a new term that we have learned is “Trade Tech”. Trade Tech unlocked new possibilities, increased traceability, and enabled transparency with the power of emerging technologies like the internet of things (IoT), 5G, cloud-based technology, and artificial intelligence (AI) technology. As we have known that visibility, transparency, and data-sharing are critical for businesses in supply chain and logistics management. Trade Tech can support the Visibility, Transparency, and Data-sharing for supply chain and logistics management that we need when we trade globally. With the power of digital and technology, Trade Tech is developing very quickly as a new ecosystem that is connected well. We have become techno-nationalism in globalization because of the COVID — 19 pandemic and found new ways to connect the supply chains and global economy. World-wide traders and business owners also get profits from Trade Tech by having access to a bigger and broader market for their services, goods, and raw materials. Without the COVID — 19 pandemic, it will take a decade to use these TradeTech technologies and we are going to procrastinate our possibilities. So I want to highlight that COVID — 19 is one of the key drivers in International Trade and Economic Globalization.
- How the COVID — 19 has positive impacts on Culture & Entertainment
Culture is very important for human beings but as it is existing in the background; we are not aware of the culture’s impact. Companies, Organizations, and Governments were being reshaped by culture, and the COVID — 19 has positive impacts on culture and entertainment. It makes us do forward-thinking and innovation. The world is rethinking and reinventing the way we communicate, value, and consume content. The distant symbol of the COVID — 19 pandemic is the “face mask”. Whether you are tall or short or thin or fat or white or black, you have to protect yourself with the face mask and we feel that almost all humans are the same. No one is above the other and no one is better than the other. The pandemic shows the signal that all human beings are the same. The Face mask shows our trust or distrust in society, how we view and accept individual civic duty, personal liberty, and safety. Although pandemic promotes individual cultures, it is still highlighting the importance of community (collective culture) safety. People put community (collective) safety by eliminating the individual desire. It happens not only for people but also for brands and organizations. As an example, KFC, a famous American Fried Chicken brand, revised their slogan from “It’s finger-licking good” to “It’s good”.
The COVID — 19 makes events delay where human interactions and cultural things happen. Musical shows, movie theaters, and other events have been canceled. The biggest globalization culture, K-pop concerts have been canceled and many other shows are postponed. In the movie industry, the new James Bond film “No Time to Die” was canceled in China. And some governments banned the large-scale gatherings of over 500 people to avoid pandemic disease infection. Many people around the world have chosen to self-isolate at home, work from home, and to avoid large-scale gatherings. Many events and festivals were being canceled. We might think that the COVID — 19 will end the entertainment for human beings. But we can see innovations in the entertainment industry. Going to the cinema is not possible in the pandemic era and people need more entertainment in self-isolation (stay at home). The COVID — 19 has forced the film industry to digitalize the contents. People are streaming more movies on Netflix, Amazon Primes, and other streaming services online. You can see detailed data in the chart that shows how the COVID — 19 pandemic boosted Netflix, amazon prime, Hulu, Disney +, and other streaming services in 2020.
We consume more content on the internet than ever. You can see the detailed data of how social media users have increased overtime on the chart.
We have seen big growth in consuming digital content for some countries that have strict lockdowns rules for the COVID — 19. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok create opportunities for digital content creators with monetization features and new ads placement for digital advertisers and brands. More placements mean more business profits and even a small business owner can now advertise on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok apps. Changes in culture and entertainment caused by the COVID — 19, help the economy grow quickly.
3.3 How the COVID -19 has positive impacts on the Digital Finance
The pandemic, the COVID — 19 has boosted the digitization in the Financial Industry overnight. We can see the rise of the Digital Finance or Fintech industry during the pandemic era. As we are ordering more food, buying more groceries and services online, digital banking and mobile wallet become our go-to payment. People go cashless and are afraid to touch cash in hand because of disease infections. The Digital transformation in the Finance industry is growing quickly around the world and especially in Asia, developing countries. Instead of a physical money wallet, people prefer mobile wallets to spend money. Every restaurant and retail shop is deploying the QR Code stand to receive the payments. While pandemic creates opportunities for cashless payment, there is another tremendous growth in Blockchain technology and digital currencies. People realize the power of digital currencies and cryptocurrencies are adopted as the mainstream currencies for business and personal transactions. Some of the governments and central banks are creating their own digital cryptocurrencies to compete with famous cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. These cryptocurrencies bridge the gap that is left by the traditional currencies during pandemics. In another word, the COVID — 19, pandemic has given birth to alternative digital finance and currencies for everyone.
3.4 How the COVID -19 has positive impacts on the Workplace
At first, the COVID — 19 has disrupted the labor markets and workplace globally. Companies do not know how to solve the pandemic problems that are tied to business profits. So millions of people lost jobs and were laid off rapidly until the companies applied the Work-from-home policies. Remote work and virtual meetings become a habit for workers except for some on-site physical-related roles. The positive impact that the COVID — 19 has created is the Flexible workspaces. Now Big corporations planned to reduce office space by 30% worldwide. And the workforces prefer the flexible combination of work from home and on-site. Plus talents around the world can join companies without relocation to the physical workplace. This creates opportunities for developing countries around the world.
Another factor that the COVID — 19 has pushed is technology adoption in the workplace. When physical meetings are canceled, we choose online meeting software like Zoom to discuss, brainstorm, and celebrate as a team. We can see the tremendous growth of using Zoom, online meeting software in the chart below.
Many companies are starting to transform their operation from traditional to digital and move their operation to the cloud. Cloud-based computing technology facilitates collaboration, communication for the workplaces during the COVID-19 crisis. The Cloud-based technology is also boosted by the COVID — 19 to be adopted in workplaces globally.
Crisis creates a primal response for our human beings around the world whether we are going to fight, flight, or freeze. And we humans always choose the “fight” mood to overcome the pandemic and crisis. Once every crisis and pandemic have been overcome successfully, humans evolved to another upper stage in their life. Business owners and traders are finding new ways to keep the business going with new technology like “Trade Tech”. Workplace is not a place to spend your entire life anymore. People can work from home to balance their work and life. People become more educated, finding new ways and increasing incomes. And the COVID-19 shows us that our culture may be diverse but we follow the rules to fulfill our civic duty. We appreciate nature and value each other’s culture, attitudes, and values of people around the globe. The pandemic has changed the way we consume content. Now we have access to any content we want to consume anywhere, anytime on digital platforms. The COVID -19 has created a stop for everyone to rethink our existence and create new ways of thinking that can inspire artists and creators. Not only the trade and cultures but also the COVID — 19 effects for accelerated technology adoption and innovation. We notice the power of digital finance and decentralization in finance like Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains and many more. We challenge ourselves to learn new things. The COVID — 19 is definitely a pushing factor for globalization and I would disagree if someone says that the Covid 19 pandemic destructive the movement of the globalization process. The COVID — 19 is a new assignment for us to overcome the globalization barriers and increase the acceleration of globalization for everyone’s profits.