Difference Between Global and International

Global vs International

We talk about global aspirations of a company when it sets its eyes on international markets, and we also talk about global warming to signify the danger shared by the international community. In fact, global is a word that reflects the meaning pertaining to the entire world. International is another word that talks about the whole world, instead of a particular place or country. Thus, we have international Monetary Fund (IMF) and the international court of Justice (ICJ). In common everyday parlance, people use the words global and international in the same breath as if they were interchangeable. However, this is incorrect as there are subtle differences between global and international when we look at these words in marketing, investment, and advertising contexts.


Of late, the word global is increasingly being used in the context of anything that applies to the whole world instead of the word international. Thus, we have global studies, global warming, global economy, global treaties, and so on. Global comes from globe, which is another name for earth. If there is a successful company in a country that has been very successful and now finds saturated markets, it needs to expand globally. When it indulges in business with other markets of the world, we talk about global aspirations of the company.

In terms of investments, there is a term called global funds that talks about securities from all parts of the world and includes the securities in the country of the investor. This is in contrast to international funds that are securities from foreign countries, excluding the investor’s own, to help him diversify and thus get a shield from fluctuations in the domestic economy.

In a similar fashion, for true multinationals, there is a global marketing or advertising strategy while there is also an international policy for marketing and advertising that depends upon local markets and cultures.


Whenever we are talking of more than two countries (bilateral), we are talking of something international. Thus, we have international treaties involving more than two countries, international language (such as English), and international laws (applying in more than a single country, international studies, and international sports tournaments.

In fact, the word signifies something between two countries like intercontinental and intercity trains. However, it has been generalized to signify something that applies to many countries. International trade refers to trade between two or more countries. International does not mean it is global and remains confined to the countries that are involved in a particular endeavor such as international trade.


What is the difference between Global and International?

• Global means worldwide or universal, applying to the whole world. On the other hand, international applies to two or more countries.

• We talk about the global economy, to signify world economy and global warming as an environmental issue that affects all countries of the world.

• Global treaties apply to the whole world like emission treaty while international applies to a few countries of the world.

• Global companies are very few, and they have offices and factories in most countries of the world, whereas international companies are many, but have presence and investment in few other countries of the world.

• Global marketing and advertising means a universal strategy whereas international marketing and advertising refers to area specific policies and strategies.