This time next year we could see a Chinese company making cars at Longbridge with steel supplied by Indian-owned mills – or Russian – or Brazilian-owned plants, depending on who ultimately wins control of Corus, the former British Steel.

That's globalisation for you. And it's happening on our doorstep here in Birmingham.

Needless to say, the doom-mongers have been busy since it was announced that Corus had accepted a #4.3 billion offer from Indian conglomerate Tata.

There are some for whom the concept "economy of scale" means nothing. They see only asset-stripping and job losses behind any merger or acquisition – particularly those that transcend national boundaries.

The fact that those national boundaries are rapidly vanishing also escapes the nay-sayers.

That's not to say the 1,800 or so employees of Corus in the West Midlands shouldn't be worried for their jobs in the event of a takeover by Tata, Severstal of Russia, or CSN of Brazil. But they should be equally worried even if Corus were to remain with its current Anglo-Dutch shareholders.

That's because the plants they work at are being squeezed in a global pincers movement that is consolidating one of the world's staple industries into a handful of giant players.

Economic and market forces of that magnitude mean that comparatively small scale plants, such as those operated by Corus, become ever more marginal.

Left to themselves they would either dwindle into tiny niche operators producing little in the way of jobs and wealth, or die.

Whoever ends up owning Corus, we can take comfort from two things.

The first is that the group still has enough going for it in the way of technology, quality of product, labour skills and know-how to make it an attractive proposition to one of the burgeoning giants of the emerging economies.

Assets not to be thrown away lightly.

The second is, the mere fact that acquisitive groups in India, China, Russia and Brazil are moving out of their home markets will help the western world by reducing its economic dependance on the United States.

As The Economist reports this week, America's housing boom is rapidly turning to bust and its economy could come "perilously close" to recession in 2007.

The Asian economies, in contrast, are buoyant and its ever-richer consumers are merrily spending much of their suplus cash.

"Previous American downturns have usually dragged the rest of the world economy, too," says The Economist.

"Yet this time its fate will depend largely upon whether China and the other Asian economies can decouple from the slowing American locomotive."

In fact, Asia has accounted for more than half the world's economic growth since 2001, which means a well-run and widely diversified conglomerate like Tata is less likely to come off the tracks in a US-led downturn.

A bit of eastern patience and calm strategic thinking is going to be a welcome relief from the frenzy of the western capital markets where long term means next week.