Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Globalization Has Its Ups, Too...

From a Baltimore Sun article. Backstory: US limits on imports from China are forcing Chinese companies to make their products in other countries. The result is that some jobs that were in China are now being exported to places like Mongolia. Tatered trade relations, it seems, is good for Mongolian workers.
Trade tensions are now the lifeline for Mongolia's textile industry. Chinese manufacturers and other companies are rushing back to Mongolia or expanding operations to fill orders for American clothiers and retailers such as Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne, Sears and J.C. Penney.

Just months after laying off workers, factories are scrambling to hire, but the pool of textile workers here, about 30,000 people, has remained relatively small. A bidding war among factories for workers has begun, factory bosses say, and salary packages that once hovered around $100 to $120 a month, including food and transportation, could double for some workers.

"We have to pay more to get those workers back," said Zheng, who hopes to hire more than 100 workers soon and add others when he can find them. "There's competition between us and other factories. We have to pay as much as them and get as many workers as we need."
Is globalization bad for the third world? Ask Mongolian textile workers.

6 Comments:

Anonymous yan said...

It is the US' and Europe's policy of (re-)creating trade barriers that is good for mongolia.

IIRC Mongolia's textile industry was deeply in trouble when trade barriers were lifted at the beginning of this year. It is just the new barriers that are helping them back on their feet - for now.

6/02/2005 6:22 AM  
Blogger nabetz said...

Good point--a point that was raised in the rest of the article that I linked to.

My point, and I could have made this more transparently, is that Mongolia is making the most of a bad situation. Frequently, the only thing that a small country can do, oftentimes, is prey on the weaknesses of larger, more influential countries. Thucidydides, put it well: the strong do what they will; the weak do what they can. If Mongolia can learn to navigate the rough waters of international trade--and there's no question that it must if it wishes to advance--then they'll have to become masters of making the most of the options available to them and the opportunities (such as sour US-China trade relations) that befall them.

6/02/2005 8:40 AM  
Anonymous yan said...

No doubt about that.

I just thimnk this particular example is a rather weak one, since Mongolia used to benefit from import quotas for chinese products for quite a while - until January 1st, 2005, when those quotas were abolished in the name of free trade.
They've been lucky this time, but relying on such opportunities can't be a viable strategy for the future.

6/08/2005 7:09 AM  
Blogger nabetz said...

I'm in total agreement. Mongolia is in a precarious position just now. I hope they can get their sea-legs soon. Placing one's economy on the vagaries of events totally beyond one's control isn't the best way to pave a path to a prosperous future. Fortunately, I don't think that that's what Mongolia is doing. As they attract foreign investment (they set the terms, so it's largely up to them whether it's successful or not) and with it improve their own labor force and international appeal, their future will become a bit more certain--and self-determined. In the meantime, though, whatever it takes, even if the measures are temporary.

6/08/2005 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mongolia deserves to be where it is now in the globalization of the world. It should now lose its identity as a 'province' of China...

this is a very good article, thanks blogspotter!!!!. keep it up.

2/11/2009 1:29 PM  
Blogger samraat said...

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4/04/2010 10:07 PM  

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