After extensive search on Bucknell’s library link, that Jordi provided, I stumble upon interesting scholarly article on Impacts of Globalization on Pakistan. In the period from 2000 to 2008, Pakistan was under dictatorial rule of General Pervez Musharraf. This leader had interesting strategy of attracting multinational companies by allowing them to capitalize on Pakistan’s heavily deregulated agriculture and textile industry. Throughout this 8 years, Musharraf lobbied for a number of anti-people and anti-labour ordinances.
In 2001, the government passed Corporate Farming Ordinance, under which the government has allowed all stock exchange-listed companies to lease a minimum of 1,500 acres of agricultural land in Pakistan for 50 years, renewable for another 49 years. This ordinance left many landless peasants without land, jobs and source of income.
The Industrial Relations Ordinance of 2002, has denied the agricultural labor force and the informal sector workforce the right of association, leaving 90% of the workforce unprotected. Privatization in the agriculture sector influenced an increase of expensive imported agriculture inputs from transnational corporations and mechanization of previous labor processes. Agricultural inputs from multinational companies were highly priced, influencing fertilizer cost to go up from US$17 to US$53, rise of more than 300% in a one year period. Furthermore, mechanization of labor processes increased job unemployment and had an immense impact on wages. Female workers had daily wages as low as US$0.50 a day, two times less than the average Indonesian worker from Nike case.
In 2004, the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) has further impacted the textile and garment sector. These two sectors account for 66% of total export. Pakistan exports textile and clothing mainly to United States and European Union, creating an estimated $3 billion market for Pakistan’s goods. However, due to the strict quality specifications, required by US and EU, a vast number of production units have been closed down or fully mechanized, further shrinking job availability. Many people protested against closing down production units, but the demonstrations didn’t had any results.
One of the few positive outcomes of the globalization in Pakistan is the opening of a large number of international food chains such as Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and Subway, creating some 3,000 job opportunities. However, since globalization left majority of people unemployed and drove down the daily wages to $0.50, the US fast food restaurants are considered prestige restaurants that not many people can afford.
Isn’t it mind blowing how McDonald’s dollar menu represent luxury meal for someone on the other side of the planet?