Public perception of globalization has declined over the past two years, with almost half unsure of its benefits and more than one-third advocating for trade barriers. Findings from the latest World Economic Forum/Ipsos market survey of almost 20,000 people in 25 countries show a mix of polarization and ambivalence about free trade, globalization, and protectionist policies.
According to the survey, 55% of Colombians support more trade barriers to imports of foreign goods and services, and while a majority of 54% of Colombians still agree that “Overall, globalization is a good thing for my country,” that number is down a whopping 20 points from the last time the survey was taken in 2019.
The decline in positive views about globalization across the 23 countries averages 10 percentage points. It is steepest in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru.
Trends show 75% of those surveyed agreeing that expanding trade is a good thing, yet almost 40% believe there should be more trade barriers to limit imports of foreign goods and services. Notably, 36% are neutral or have no option.
Sean Doherty, Head of International Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum said: “International trade and investment can grow economies, reduce poverty, improve healthcare and empower people worldwide. However, changes caused by trade can be disruptive and painful, and can sometimes undermine local reforms. The seeming contradiction in survey results is understandable: people want more of the good and less of the bad of globalization. To grow the gains and achieve fair outcomes for all, governments need to listen to local priorities and work together on policies related to the environment, jobs, tax, the digital economy and other issues which reach across borders.”
Only 1 in 2 are positive about globalization – down in every country by an average of 10 points since 2019. France, Russia and Belgium have the lowest confidence in globalization, while Malaysia, South Africa, Peru, Brazil and South Korea have the most.
About the survey
These are the results of a 25-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 19,017 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 20 other markets between March 26 and April 9, 2021.
Sustainable Development Impact Summit 20-23 September
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