Go to contents

[Opinion] Global Competitiveness

Posted August. 02, 2005 03:02,   


“When I was little, my parents used to tell me: ‘Tom, finish your meal. There are many people starving in China and India.’”

This is a verse from “The World is Flat,” a New York Times bestseller that has been on the list for four months. The author, Thomas Friedman, says he now tells his daughters: “Hurry and finish your homework. There are people starving after your jobs in China and India.

The reason for this is globalization. If “Lexus and the Olive Tree“ was an illustration of the globalization of companies, version 2.0, now is the upgraded 3.0, the globalization of individuals. This started since China and India joined the world markets in 2000. The world’s top brains compete with other top brains on the same platform. China and India are especially threats to the United States, with their large populations and their large ambitions and high education levels. For example, at the Intel Fair, a competition to select young scientific geniuses, if there are 65,000 American participants, 6,000,000 participants come from China. The number of Zippies, a term indicating the young Indians striving to make something of themselves through academic achievements, amounts up to 550,000,000.

In the new millennium, the keyword for the Korean economy is “global competitiveness,” according to “Chief Executive,” a monthly magazine published by the Korea Management Association. This was based on a survey of professors of economics and business administration. It would be nice if we can all live in prosperity together, but such times of comfort will not come. If one does not act when they can when they need to, there will be a competitor somewhere in the world who will act. This applies to countries, enterprises, and individuals.

The 2004 World Economic Forum ranked Korea’s global competitiveness 29th in the world, 11 places lower than the previous year. Carl Stern, the CEO of Boston Consulting Group, an international consulting firm, said, “It is the best if the government does not interfere in business in order to enhance a company’s global competitiveness.” The government should not interfere with hard working students if it cannot support them. It would be a tragedy if the government ties down the businesses and individuals trying to join the globalization trend.

Kim Sun-duk, Editorial Writer, yuri@donga.com