Liam Fox is secretary of state for Defence, UK
The Guardian Newspaper, an Opinion
Two hundred and forty years ago, Adam Smith published one of the most important texts ever written. The Wealth of Nations set out his vision of free trade as a pathway to opportunity and prosperity for all; and that in a true open global economy no one need lose out – we all could benefit.
Globalization needs to be championed more vigorously
Yesterday I was in Manchester speaking about why I believe his principles are as much alive and relevant today as they were in the 18th century – despite vastly different trading environments.
We stand on the verge of an unprecedented ability to liberate global trade for the benefit of our whole planet with technological advances, such as the internet and e-commerce, dissolving the barriers of time and distance. And because of the brave and historic decision of the British people to leave the European Union, I believe the UK is in a prime position to become a world leader in free trade.
Globalization represents an acceleration of the trend in which the world has become increasingly compressed, economically, culturally and politically. However, it is becoming increasingly misunderstood and its benefits not championed vigorously enough. While the increased economic activity that globalization has generated has been broadly welcomed by business, politicians have often worried about how the dissolving concepts of sovereignty will affect their ability to influence events, and many have worried about the effects on the world’s most vulnerable people.
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The Swedish Professor Hans Rosling explains that the world today is economically better off today than it was 50 years ago even though there are about 5 billion more people today.
From 1967 to 1974 Rosling studied statistics and medicine at Uppsala University, and in 1972 he studied public health at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India.
Rosling’s research has also focused on links between economic development, agriculture, poverty and health. He has been health adviser to WHO, UNICEF. At Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, he was head of the Division of International Health (IHCAR) from 2001 to 2007. As chairman of the Karolinska International Research and Training Committee (1998–2004) he started health research collaborations with universities in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. He co-authored a textbook on Global Health that promotes a fact-based world view.