WASHINGTON (AFP) – Developing countries and advanced economies differ greatly in their level of “skepticism” towards international trade and foreign investment, a study of people across 44 countries revealed Tuesday.
A median of 81 per cent of those surveyed believed that international trade and global business ties were good things, according to a study by the US-based Pew Research Center.
However, views on trade, jobs and wages varied greatly between nations, with people from advanced economies, in particular France, Italy, Japan and the United States, having a high degree of skepticism.
“That undercurrent of skepticism could complicate current government efforts to further deepen and broaden global markets,” the survey said, with particular emphasis on US and EU trade agreements being negotiated.
While a median of 66 per cent of people in developing economies believe trade increases jobs, only 20 per cent of Americans agree, making them the least likely group to concur.
Tunisians, Ugandans and Vietnamese, on the other hand, responded the most enthusiastically.
And while 45 per cent of the entire global sample believed that foreign-led mergers and acquisitions were a good thing, only 31 per cent of advanced-economy respondents and 28 per cent of Americans agreed.
A median of 87 per cent of people in developing countries believed that trade was good, while 84 per cent of people in advanced economies held the same opinion.
A median of 78 per cent of those in emerging markets meanwhile see trade as beneficial, while 52 per cent say that trade creates jobs.
“Such emerging market sentiment may reflect the experience in China and elsewhere, where growing international business ties have been associated with more employment opportunities and higher incomes,” Pew said.
A total of 48,643 people were interviewed in the survey conducted from March 17 to June 5.