“I think globalization cannot be stopped—no one can stop globalization, no one can stop trade. If trade stops, the world stops. Trade is the way to dissolve the war not cause the war.”
-Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group
The World Economic Forum brings together some of the world’s most powerful business and government leaders. The tone of the meeting is always instructive about the mood of the economy and geopolitics. The news about the global economy is quite good, with growth in advanced countries and most emerging markets. Conversely, the geopolitical system is uneasy, with fractures that can seem visceral and raw.
The business message from India, China and the United States is clear: We’re open for business and we want your investment. In India and the United States’ case, that point was made by Prime Minister Modi and President Trump. In China, the message was delivered from a host of technology company leaders, who were there extolling the audacious ambitions of China and its growing companies.
Technology is disrupting nearly every sector and existing business model, but it is also helping to address global health, education and environmental issues. While perspectives from different corners of the planet can be deeply divided, there are also points of inspiration and opportunity that may have never existed before in such abundance.
While business and the economy are hot, there are people and countries on the outside of that growth. Our task is to narrow the gap and work towards win-win relationships that can be developed and sustained.