Globalisation, the increasing multinational nature of business and electronic communication, has led to a parallel reduction in the powers of the nation-state to affect development and an increase in the powers of the business community. Transnational corporations (TNCs) account for over one-quarter of the earth’s GNP. Unlike governments, global businesses are able to operate efficiently globally, moving people, money and, above all, information around the world with little restriction. TNCs are becoming larger and more numerous; individually their resources and impact on peoples lives can be as great as many nation-states. Collectively their direct investment activities increasingly dominate international capital flows. with such massive resources at their disposal there is increasing recognition that with global influence comes global responsibility. Tackling issues of environmental and social concern globally can no longer rest solely with governments and international organisations but must also become an obligation of the business community. The welfare state is giving way to business welfare. This rapidly changing external environment is having major implications for the role of NGOs, their sources of funding, the nature of their relationships and their activities. NGOs now need to look beyond the State as the main actor to influence.
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