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Key facts: The global economy
Images of international goods, trade and services

The world's economies have developed ever-closer links since 1950, in trade, investment and production.

Known as globalisation, this process is not new, but its pace and scope has accelerated in recent years, to embrace more industries and more countries.

There have been losers as well as winners from globalisation, with China the biggest winner, and blue-collar workers the biggest losers.

The changes have been driven by liberalisation of trade and finance, changes in how companies work, and improvements to transport and communications.


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