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IELTS 10 Test 3 Task 2 (version 2)

Globalisation is a double-edged sword. It brings more variety of products to market and the ability for travellers to purchase their favourite products. Yet, it puts many local companies out of business and contaminates local cultures with certain undesirable aspects of foreign products. I would argue that this development is more positive than negative.

Citizens of one country who are able to buy products of another enjoy a wider variety of options. For example, people living in Eastern cultures can now not only enjoy their local variety of music, film, food and clothing, but also those of Western cultures and vice versa. Likewise, travellers and expatriates have the luxury of choice of either dining or cooking according to their own traditional preferences or of taking a more adventurous route and sampling some of the local delicacies. With the world becoming similar due to products being globally available, people are able to enjoy more variety. With variety being the spice of life, this is certainly a positive development.

One of the drawbacks of such infiltration of foreign products into local markets is that local businesses often can’t compete with their international rivals. With fast food chains opening in a city, the local eateries would find it more and more difficult to attract and retain customers, not only because their once regular patrons opt to eat at alternative venues from time to time, but because local tastes may change due to foreign influences. This change of taste in itself can also have detrimental effects on the health of citizens through unhealthy foreign diets and on the local environment by increasing the amount of waste produced from packaging.

Any negative health and environmental consequences can be reduced by government education campaigns to encourage citizens to make purchasing decisions that support locally-made goods and that protect their health and their local environment. For example, once people are taught that disposable coffee cups such as those from Starbucks cannot be recycled due to their plastic lining, they would be more inclined to order their beverage in a coffee mug instead. Job losses from local business lay offs or closures are typically offset by employment opportunities created by foreign companies doing business locally.

Being able to buy the same products at any place in the world has clear benefits. The drawbacks are either offset or can be mitigated by efforts of local governments.

(397 words)

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