THE PHILIPPINES may be in the best position to conquer the world in the 21st century if it harnesses the benefits of globalization, an international trade law expert said.

“Globalization is not really bad as people would like you to see it. In fact, Filipinos have the traits that they need to take advantage of the world in this age of globalization and free trade,” lawyer and columnist Jeremy Gatdula told journalism students in the 1st UST Business and Economic Journalism Forum last February 15 at the St. Raymund’s Building.

Gatdula said globalization is a product of the evolution of trade policy. “Mercantilism, which was the prevalent economic theory during the 16th century, states that importing products from other countries is bad, while exporting is good,” Gatdula said.

“Adam Smith changed that. In his work titled, The Wealth of Nations, he promoted free trade as a better model for the economy,” Gatdula added.

By adopting a free trade policy, countries can focus on producing goods where it has a comparative advantage. This would then lead to more trading between countries, as a country will have to buy the products of others. David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, Gatdula said, is one of globalization’s best arguments.

“With globalization, a country can assess its identity, where it is going to, and the demands placed on it,” he said. “This would bring about confidence in the competitiveness of the country’s products in the global world.”

As for the Philippines, he said the country’s greatest advantage are its people, who are flexible, resilient, and strong in the face of adversities.

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“The world needs smart people and that’s us, Filipinos,” Gatdula said.

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