Past prominence of course does not guarantee continued success. Metro areas as diverse as Detroit, Manchester, and Rome have all become less globalized compared to their previous peak. Equally, others are proving that it is never too late to take advantage of changing dynamics. Metro areas that seize the historical moment can achieve lasting benefits. Toronto is an example of a metro that responded purposefully to a convergence of unique circumstances between 1945 and 1970.

The creation of equalizing platforms like computers, smart phones, and tablet notebooks with access to the internet has superseded the need for the customary ingredients of open societies. The entire world is slowly becoming an open society, and even reclusive dictatorships scan Google Earth to see what was recently discovered.

It is by now well-known that the process of globalization, beginning in the 1960s and picking up pace rapidly in the late 20th century, quickly changed the context for international affairs. Globalization produced increased contact among the peoples of the world, a rapid expansion of interdependence among nations, and an explosion of new actors in international affairs.

Even our soft power is not as uncontested as we may like to think. The global marketplace of ideas, fertilized by the Internet, ensures that different countries and cultures illuminate their own paths, affirm their own traditions and provide competing visions of the world to come. Yet, no new grand "-ism" is taking shape and no one country is becoming the new paragon.

Brussels has welcomed Beijing's strategy to boost its soft power by spreading its colorful cultures across globe after years of economic success, said a top European Union (EU) culture official....European Commission's Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said culture plays an important part in achieving Beijing's aspiration of gaining more global influence and sharpening its soft power.

Many countries are trying every means possible to expand their cultural capacity. The United States, European Union member countries, Japan, Korea, and Singapore are all active players in the new-round competition in cultural soft power.

October 2, 2011

Most often, we concentrate on exchange of business, technology and know-how," says Peter Deubet, deputy director-general of the chamber of commerce. "However, we do promote cultural exchange between the two countries as well. There is more to Indo-German connections than automobiles and engineering.