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In business, globalization is a term used to describe the spectrum of changes occurring in societies and economies as good and services, capital, people, technology, and ideas flow more freely across international borders. The World Bank has defined globalization in terms of economic freedom, irrespective of national borders. Globalization is thus closely associated with laissez-faire capitalism. Sometimes globalization is used to refer more narrowly to the flow of goods and services. Another name for this aspect of globalization is trade liberalization. Contrary to popular belief, in some respects globalization is not at its peak. In the decades prior to WWI, international trade's percentage of global GDP was higher than it is today, so that period is sometimes called the first era of globalization. More idealistically, globalization is also sometimes used to describe the notion of a coming global village, with a single international culture. The term internationalization is sometimes used interchangeably with globalization.

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