FREEDOM AND SAFETY

 

Most people think that expanding trade is a good thing, according to a recent Ipsos-World Economic Forum survey of adults in 25 countries around the world.

But support for globalization has declined - with half of people unsure of its benefits and a third advocating for trade barriers.

On average three-quarters of those surveyed thought that expansion was a good thing, with just 5% disagreeing. Support was strongest in Peru and lowest in France.

Expanding trade is a good thing.

Most people think expanding trade is a good thing.
Image: World Economic Forum-Ipsos


“International trade and investment can grow economies, reduce poverty, improve healthcare and empower people worldwide," says Sean Doherty, Head of International Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum.

"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.”

Support for more trade - and trade barriers

Despite this widespread support for increased trade, more people agreed there should be more trade barriers to limit the import of foreign goods and services into their country than disagreed.

Some 37% agreed there should be more barriers compared to 27% who disagreed. Around a third were neutral or didn't have an opinion.

There should be more trade barriers to limit imports of foreign goods and services.

A third of people think there should be more trade barriers.
Image: World Economic Forum-Ipsos


 

"People want more of the good and less of the bad of globalization"

—Sean Doherty, Head of International Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum

 

Support for globalization falls

 

Around half (48%) of those surveyed agreed that globalization is a good thing for their country. Just 13% disagreed, with the remaining unsure or neutral.

Positive assessment of globalization was highest in Malaysia (72%) and lowest in France (27%).

Overall, globalization is a good thing for my country.

Only half of people think globalization is a good thing.
Image: World Economic Forum-Ipsos


In all of the 23 countries where this question was asked in 2019, fewer now agree that globalization is a good thing. The drop in support was highest in Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru.