Chapter 1: Globalization and its Affects on Developing Countries

Globalization is affecting the world we live in in many different ways. It affects each continent, country, and even individual in our world. The concept of globalization is seen all throughout Bel Canto. It is only the first chapter, yet the whole essence of why this event is taking place is due to globalization. Mr. Hosokawa, a Japanese businessman, owns a large electronics company, Nansei, and a developing country is trying to get him to bring more of his business to them to build up their economy. Isn’t this what we see happening all around the world? Developing countries are using any resources they have to offer to make themselves economically appealing to developed regions. They are pitching themselves as places for large companies to bring portions of their business operations to them for higher growth and cheaper expenses. What parties are benefiting from these business transactions? Are locals getting better jobs and a higher quality of life, and how do they feel about these large companies coming in to their homeland?

It is a somewhat different and rarer situation that is taking place in Bel Canto with this attempt to use globalization to bring economic prosperity to whatever South American country in which this story takes place. Normally a business owner from a more developed country like Japan would be jumping all over an opportunity where they can use a developing country to boost their production and revenue, but here for some reason Mr. Hosokawa is totally uninterested. The host country however does not know that he is uninterested, so their motives are still to bring more business to their country. That being said, often times the motives for bringing more business to a developing country is not always in the best interest of the locals of that country. Too often the leaders of developing countries are concerned more with bringing profits to their country, which they tend to receive a great deal of, rather than protecting their citizens and thinking of their best interests. Latin America tends to be the continent that is the most well-known for government corruptions. In situations like these they are many times found guilty of keeping a lot of the profits for themselves or for unnecessary government expenses, or accepting huge bribes from companies like Nansei to bring portions of their business to their country. In essence, government officials of developing countries are allowing “global commerce to be increasingly dominated by transnational corporations which seek to maximize profits without regard for the developmental needs of their individual countries or the local populations”.

Locals of the developing countries see benefits and also a lot of negatives from large companies coming in and starting factories or other sectors of business in their homeland. Benefits include jobs, improved economic conditions, and sometimes even better pay than before. This can sometimes make these companies that are wanting to come in look enticing to the locals. However, these improvements tend to be skewed and also inflated to seem better than what they are. Workers are forced to work extremely long hours for what is still extremely low pay. The pay that they receive from these companies that come in generally does not even cover their living expenses, which are already below poverty level of somewhere like the United States. The working conditions are most of the time quite terrible. Companies will not waste the money it takes to install air conditioning or heat into the factories, and the conditions of the workplace tend to be unsafe with frequent injuries. When these companies come in, it creates a more competitive environment that the developing countries are not used to. They are then forced to lower their environmental standards in order to compete with other developing countries to be the place of optimal opportunity for businesses to come.

I believe that it is possible that the terrorists have crashed this party and want to capture the President for several reasons. However, I believe that they may know the intentions behind this party at the Vice President’s house, and they want to prevent this deal from happening because of what they believe globalization will do to their home. They may be worried about the homogenization of culture, they could be trying to keep the culture they have intact so that they stay unique and preserve their identity. I’m excited to see more of the psychology behind why the terrorists are performing this hostage situation. It seems to me that there is something more to it than just money. They have a ton of rich people in the room, yet they want the President. Why is that? Could it be that they’re on a mission to prevent globalization on their land?

Bryson Allen

Works Cited


One thought on “Chapter 1: Globalization and its Affects on Developing Countries

  1. Michael Pedersen says:

    Interesting topic, I especially like the way you analysed how the government is pushing the local populous to accept industry and globalization through an almost propaganda like means. My research brought up a similar point about how industrialization is seen as one of the only ways for developing countries to get involved with globalization. These governments then perpetuate the virtues of industry onto the people. With that process comes a whole slew of problems ranging from social to economic inequality as your examples explained. That being said it is important to realize that we are speaking through hindsight, the people of this country probably lack decent education and have not been exposed to the same history as we have and so for them all they know about globalization is probably what the government itself has elected to share.

    With the previous point I don’t mean to say the people wouldn’t put up a fight. People tend to become ingrained in their own style of living, though to us it may be poverty, to them it is tradition and like so many Americans believe, tradition is worth defending. I agree with your point that this terrorist attack is about more than just money. Though I believe it boils down to the terrorists defending their group’s traditions and cultural identity, as you hinted at, more so than their economic beliefs.

    In your second paragraph you seemed confused to why Mr. Hosokawa’s company would be uninterested in using this opportunity to “boost their production and revenue.” Regardless of whether or not the country knew Mr. Hosokawa’s disinterest there are many factors in decided to expand into a country. For example, this country may not have enough workers with a high enough education to run the factory properly. Infrastructure is another huge hurdle that Mr. Hosokawa must have considered. As mentioned in class electrical infrastructure is incredibly important, if the factory cannot rely on local power generation then it would need its own generators to pick up the slack increasing the cost and running expenditures of the factory. Conditions like those are essential for a company to become, and maintain, success.

    – Michael Pedersen

    Liked by 1 person

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