Media Release
Tuesday 29 July 2003


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Rob Kerr, Vice President
GlobeScan Incorporated
Toronto, Canada
Tel: +1 (416) 969-3086

Please note that in November 2003, Environics International became GlobeScan Inorporated.

Privatization: People Want Less in Water and Oil
More in Transportation Sector

Toronto, Canada - According to the third annual Global Issues Monitor survey of over 22,000 citizens in 22 countries, people want less privatization in the water / sewage treatment and oil sectors. Conversely, they support more privatization in public transportation and telephone sectors. Overall, across four of the six sectors surveyed, people are slightly more inclined to favor less privatization.

With regard to the oil and gas sector, Russians are more likely than others to want more privatization, a desire that is being manifested through investments such as BP’s recent major venture in that country’s oil industry. On the other hand, Latin Americans, especially Mexicans, are significantly more likely than others to strongly resist any privatization of their oil industries.

The survey reveals a number of important insights with implications for economic development, trade, global governance, and security. Some topline findings from the 2003 Global Issues Monitor include:

The findings are consistent with the significant and widespread drop in support for privatization of essential services in general over the past three years. Today, global opinion on the trend toward privatization is equally divided between citizens saying that it is positive and those saying that it is negative. People in Asian countries are especially inclined to support privatization, while Latin Americans are inclined to oppose it. People who favor the free market economy and globalization are much more supportive than others of privatization. Not surprisingly, attitudes about privatization are significantly correlated with trust in executives of multinational companies, which at this time is low.

These findings reveal some of the complexities of privatization, identifying those sectors and geographies where privatization efforts may resonate most strongly and where sensitivity and further research are required to better understand the local context and resistance to privatization.

The research suggests that certainly in some countries and sectors, privatization will increasingly be opposed, affecting governments' ability to raise cash and global companies' opportunities for growth.

The Global Issues Monitor provides global decision-makers with critical insights and comparative country metrics needed to better understand the trends shaping their international business and policy environment. The report is designed to help shape corporate strategies, policy positions, and communications activities.

In addition to privatization issues, the 2003 Global Issues Monitor explores people's opinions about other important issues facing global society, including the merits of the free market economy, globalization, approaches to development and poverty reduction, governance capacity, and global security.

We invite you to join other leading global companies, national governments, and international institutions and subscribe to the 2003 Global Issues Monitor research program. The subscription includes a high-level executive report and customized in-person briefing, as well as a complete PowerPoint file and data tables.

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For participating countries and detailed topics, please visit

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These results are based on research conducted by Environics International's worldwide network of research institutes. In each country, extensive face-to-face or telephone interviews were conducted with representative samples of about 1,000 citizens (for a total of 22,000). Each national poll is accurate to within 3 percent, 19 times out of 20. The complete country-by-country results for these and many other topics are available by subscription to the 2003 Global Issues Monitor research program.

Environics International is a global public opinion and stakeholder research company with research partners in over 50 countries. Established in 1987, it specializes in providing continuous tracking, insights and strategic counsel on global issues to multinational companies, national governments, multilateral agencies and non-governmental organizations.