Question: Countries are becoming more and more similar because people are able to buy the same products anywhere in the world. Is it a positive or negative development?
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) In recent decades products that are sold in one country can be found in nearly all others, which gives people the impression that countries are becoming too similar. Personally, I believe this is a positive development because of the convenience and choice.
(Body 1) On the one hand, the most striking aspects of this phenomenon is the availability of a wide range of foreign products. To begin with, people living in any country are able to purchase items from overseas regardless of geographical location since identical products are sold globally. For example, people living Vietnam can pick up the latest goods from American or European-based companies at supermarkets, while also sampling the menus of restaurants and coffee shops from international brands such as Starbucks and McDonalds. So, thanks to this availability, people can not only enjoy a variety of choices in the market, but also reduce the need to travel overseas for these products and experiences, or even save money on shipping. What’s more this trend could also bring convenience to foreign tourists. Individuals who frequently travel abroad confess that they usually have problems with adjusting to the local food because it does not match their taste. Hence, if they could find same goods as back home these difficulties would be eliminated.2
(Body 2) However, this tendency can also pose a threat to local economies. The explanation is that the ubiquity of international products tends to put those that are produced locally at a disadvantage. This is because consumers tend to have a preference for foreign goods, especially popular international brands, in part because they are of a higher quality and also because disposable incomes are often on the rise in developing countries. This can lead to domestic companies suffering losses, which can have a knock on effect for the national economy and levels of employment.
(Conclusion) In summary, although the availability of the same goods has downsides as they create competition between foreign and local products resulting in economic losses, I think that what they offer including convenience for tourists and diversity of goods are more important. Globalisation is inevitable but governments should support domestic industries through subsidies to help them battle their foreign competitors. (361 words).
Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.
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