Since 1970, the world has experienced a series of events which have had, and are having, a most profound effect on the allocation of economic activity, both between and within countries. Among those of greatest long-term significance are the rising economic stature of some NICs, particularly those from the Far East, and a series of technological breakthroughs, especially in the areas of information and telecommunications, and biotechnology. Of more immediate and pervasive impact has been a deceleration in world economic growth, coupled with a swing to neo-liberal policies of most governments and a more realistic appreciation of the costs and gains of economic interdependence.