GLOBAL trade was on the agenda at Britain and the Sea seminar as part of London International Shipping Week, with globalisation of trade examined through the prism of the not-so-humble Apple iphone.
It turns out that ‘made in China’ is something of a misnomer. Only 1.8% of the value of each phone benefits China, based on the Chinese labour that goes into putting the phones together.
Some 58.5% of the value of each phone benefits the US in the form of profits for Apple, and 4.7% for South Korea, which makes the batteries and the memory.
“Made in the world” would therefore be a more appropriate label to stick on each phone, suggested Dr James Scott, lecturer in international politics at Kings College London.
“Poor countries should embrace free trade to attract multinationals to foster growth,” he added.
Shipping’s role in all this?
It’s the key facilitator in the globalisation of trade, which has the power to lift nations out of poverty, as witnessed by the extraordinary rise of South Korea as one of the poorest nations in Asia to now one of the richest countries in the world through a trade and export-led economy.
And this week, London’s at the centre of it all.
It’s almost enough to make Last Word dizzy, sit down and play with the ‘not just made in China’ iphone. Read more.