Pioneers of Global Marketplace Head East
By Quint Tatro Feb 27, 2008 11:00 am
International wealth just starting to accrue.
Close your eyes and imagine what the United States looked like 100 years ago. Sure there were a few developed cities but for the most part it was rough terrain. Infrastructure was just beginning and as people flooded into our free land, opportunity was aplenty as goods and services were exchanged and we evolved into a developed nation. Innovation led the way to production and every year we made progress creating new businesses, which again resulted in new opportunities.
Now open your eyes and look around. 100 years later the U.S. is developed and issues today come from a housing crisis. This possesses irony within itself simply because 100 years ago very few could purchase their own home and if they did, most set out West and built it with their own two hands. America no longer has much 'open land' and unfortunately no longer is opportunity around every corner. Oh, it's still a great Nation, don't get me wrong, it's just much farther down the road and faces new and unique problems that aren't as easily fixed with a new industry, product or service.
However that is within the U.S.'s borders and one has to only look beyond to see the vast opportunity around the world. Whether you want to debate it or not, the simple fact remains that a majority of the world's population is not developed and is facing similar issues to what the U.S. did 100 years ago. However with those issues comes incredible opportunity, as everything from infrastructure to appliances is needed. New consumers are being developed each and every day as new jobs are created to meet new demands.
These consumers desire everything from better food to better housing and the global demand is growing at a pace never seen before.
Clearly United States multi-national corporations will participate as goods and services are redistributed worldwide. Infrastructure plays like Caterpillar (CAT) and Manitowoc (MTW) may come in and out of fashion in the short term, however over the next several years, these companies will be playing an integral role in the development of the world. Service companies like Wal-Mart (WMT), and McDonald's (MCD) which have already ventured into international markets are well positioned to continue their global expansion and service the needs of those consumers still yet to be determined.
There is no question, global development will be one of the most exciting things the U.S. has ever seen as a nation however the question is, what about those not participating? What about the companies, and average Americans who will never set foot outside of the U.S. but still need to provide for their growing family? Will there be enough opportunity? Will the global profits that return to the U.S. flow through the system enough to keep the developed nation growing? Or will the global growth story ultimately create a bigger wedge between the haves and have nots? Maybe rather than just saying 'wealthy', a new class will be developed called 'Internationally Exposed.'
Over time we'll find the answer to this and more questions that so many Americans seem to be asking. However make no mistake, whether a majority of Americans can directly participate or not, the development that is taking place around the globe has just begun and has a long way to go. Regardless of your position on the matters at hand, don't let domestic tunnel vision hinder you from missing out on global profits.
Positions in CAT, MCD
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