The answer to your question is in the question itself. The most significant way Christopher Columbus shaped global economics and politics is through travel. This voyage opened up a whole new world in several different ways. First, the discovery of new land brought a massive shift of population. People moved from the old world to the new world. This shift in population cannot be underestimated. Second, the new world offered much in terms of land and the cultivation of land. Think of the migrations that would take place later on towards the West. Third, North America also had much in terms of natural resources for the enterprising - gold, oil, and so much more. All of these things shaped the economy. Finally, since there was no set laws, a new form of government was established. In short, there was a new experiment in politics.