- February 2012: Vol. 24 No. 2

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Welcome to the Big Stage: Globalization Offers Mixed Bag for Commercial Real Estate

by Chris Macke

It is not uncommon to think of global trade as a recent phenomenon. And while global trade certainly never reached the levels it has in the 21st century, it does have a long history. Its history includes multiple shifts in economic power. According to the book The Elephant and the Dragon,China and India comprised more than half of the world’s economic output in 1600. In 1664 China exported 45,000 pieces of porcelain to the Dutch East India Co. China and India remained economic powers through the 19th century. Whether it was the Silk Road or Spice Route, global trade has been active for many years. As we wrestle with and try to understand the implications of China and India’s re-emergence as economic powers, it is instructive to remember this history.


According to Harvard University’s Richard Freeman, China, India and the former Soviet Bloc countries doubled the global workforce as of 2000. This was a sudden and seismic cha

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