By the late 1990s the richest one fifth of the world’s population had:
• 86% of world GDP (Gross Domestic Product) — the bottom fifth just 1%.
• 82% of world export markets — the bottom fifth just 1%.
• 68% of foreign direct investment — the bottom fifth just 1%.
• 74% of world telephone lines, today’s basic means of communication — the bottom fifth just 1.5%.
Critics of globalisation say that rising inequality is the inevitable result of market forces. Given free reign, market forces give the rich the power to add further to their wealth. Hence, large corporations invest in poor countries only because they can make greater profits from low wage levels or because they can get access to their natural resources.
What is the role of the Internet and communications technology in globalisation?
Although the internet started off as a communal medium for sharing information, principally among academics, it is increasingly becoming the tool of transnational