Global Sourcing Spotlight: Don’t Be Afraid of Global Sourcing

Written by: Bob Duke on April 3, 2024

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On paper, it doesn’t seem like a great time for global sourcing. With several world conflicts, it may seem impossible to think that something like global sourcing and commercial trade between countries could begin to alleviate this tension between warring countries.

But hey, I’ve always been a glass-half-full guy, so humor me. Take China, for example. If you know your history, you know that things were pretty bad there because of Mao. What would have happened if that country had not experienced global commercialization? They would still be experiencing the dark days of their social revolution. Instead, when Nixon officially recognized China and we started trading with China, their entire world changed. It took them only 30 years to become a world leader in industrialization and commerce. Without that, let’s just say trade would be a lot worse today.

Sure, China is extremely competitive, and we have quite different ideologies, but it’s all about the people. Business is all about people.

If you’ve been lucky enough to go to China and work with the people there, you will certainly have a completely different picture than certain politicians want us to believe. Things are far from perfect, but then again, they are far from as bad as they could be.

I also believe that as this next generation assumes leadership of our country, things will continue to get better. The fact that we are even doing business with China is a giant step toward one day having a peaceful world.

Doing business with China matters, but trade with so many other countries will, I believe, will save the world and bring about world peace. I can hear you saying, “Come on, Duke. Take off those rose-colored glasses and see the world as it really is. These people are our enemies and always will be.” Nope, sorry, not buying it. I have been going to China for too many years and have met too many people not to have an optimistic view of our future relationship. I believe it will be a particularly good thing.

I know it will not be easy. It has not been easy so far. While trade between countries can indeed foster cooperation and contribute to peace in several ways, it's essential to recognize that it's not a panacea for all global issues. However, here are some ways in which trade can contribute to peace and global stability:

  • Interdependence: When countries engage in trade, they become economically interdependent. This mutual dependence creates incentives for peaceful coexistence and conflict resolution, as disruptions in trade can harm all involved parties.
  • Diplomacy and dialogue: Trade often facilitates diplomatic relations and dialogue between nations. Negotiating trade agreements necessitates communication and cooperation, providing opportunities for countries to address broader issues and build trust.
  • Conflict prevention: Economic ties can serve as a deterrent to conflict. Countries with strong economic interests in each other are less likely to engage in actions that could disrupt those interests, reducing the likelihood of armed conflict.
  • Wealth creation and poverty reduction: Trade can stimulate economic growth and lift people out of poverty, which can reduce the likelihood of social unrest and conflict within and between nations.
  • Cultural exchange: Trade fosters cultural exchange and understanding between nations, as people from different backgrounds come into contact through business interactions. This can promote tolerance and reduce misunderstandings that often fuel conflicts.
  • Resource sharing: Trade allows countries to access resources they may lack domestically, reducing the incentives for resource-based conflicts and promoting cooperation in resource management.
  • Institutional development: Engaging in trade often requires countries to develop and adhere to international trade rules and institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). These institutions provide frameworks for resolving disputes peacefully and promote stability in the global trading system.
  • Mutual benefit: Trade is inherently based on mutual benefit. By engaging in mutually beneficial economic relationships, countries have a vested interest in each other's prosperity and stability.

I’m just saying that peace is good for business. On the same token, business is good for peace. You can’t be fighting one another if you are working on projects together. You cannot be on opposite ends of the spectrum when you have common goals. It’s as simple as that.

It’s better than the alternative, right? If countries don’t find ways to agree, have common goals, and play nice together, where will that get us? I shudder to think.

While trade can undoubtedly contribute positively to global peace and stability, it's essential to recognize that it must be accompanied by other measures such as diplomacy, conflict resolution mechanisms, and respect for human rights to create a lasting and meaningful impact on world peace.

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