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What do they divide?
by Satya Prakash
Issue 15
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National boundaries are supposed to be one of the most sacrosanct things in today's world. But the only time, I am aware of the national boundaries is when I see a map or the globe. The boundaries are hardly evident in our daily life. This is one of the realities of today's global world which no one can deny.

Today we live in a world where national boundaries hardly matter. Right from the coffee we drink in the morning, to the dress we wear, computer we work on and the car we drive. All these come to us from several different countries. The economies of several different countries are linked together. If the interest rate rises in USA, the Hong Kong stock market tanks. If there is unrest in Nigeria the crude oil prices go up, affecting many countries.

In Finland, we get most of the fruits from Caribbean and Latin American countries. In the same way the telecom giant Nokia, from the country of 5.2 million people, sells its phones to millions of people across the world. All of these clearly underline the fact that boundaries does not matter in today's world. Every country is affected by other country even though its border may be secured.

Of course with every other thing, this phenomenon, which is also known as globalization, has both positive and negative ramifications. It has served a great deal to the humanity by lifting the standard of living in countries which were not so rich. The manufacturing revolution in China has lead to prosperity of its huge population. This in turn has given unique purchasing power to people of most populous country on this globe. Their buying spree is working wonders for businesses across the world.

Same can be said about the outsourcing industry which has changed the face of countries having low cost, high skilled people, such as India, Poland, and Ireland etc. The low cost of these countries has resulted in increased profits for the organizations which outsourced work for them. This creates win-win situation for every stake holder. Of course this also introduces a certain dynamics in the economy which tends to find its own balance.

The negative aspect of diminishing boundaries is manifested by over-ambition of certain countries to exert influence beyond their boundaries. This might stem from the fact that to secure critical resources a country needs to be influential in the country where that resource lies.

The tension in Middle East for the crude oil is redolent of this fact. Also the conflict between USA and Iran has its roots in crude oil exploration and marketing. Today China is increasing its presence in African countries by cooperating with them to secure its energy interest. Many other countries are also trying to increase their sphere of influence much beyond their boundaries.

Though activities beyond borders have been happening since centuries ago for trade and exploration, the present diminishing of national boundaries in our daily life has truly turned the world into one global village.

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