Perhaps the defining feature of the global economy is precisely that it is global.
Toys from China, copper from Chile, T-shirts from Bangladesh, wine from New Zealand, coffee from Ethiopia, and tomatoes from Spain. Like it or not, globalisation is a fundamental feature of the modern economy.
In the early 1960s, world trade in merchandise was less than 20% of world economic output, or gross domestic product (GDP). Now, it is around 50% but not everyone is happy about it.
There is probably no other issue where the anxieties of ordinary people are so in conflict with the near-unanimous approval of economists. Arguments over trade tend to frame globalisation as a policy – maybe even an ideology – fuelled by acronymic trade deals like TRIPS and TTIP.
But perhaps the biggest enabler of globalisation has not been a free trade agreement, but a simple invention: the shipping container. It is just a corrugated steel box, 8ft (2.4m) wide, 8ft 6in (2.6m) high, and 40ft (12m) long but its impact has been huge.
Source : BBC World Service