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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the way in which the relationship between business and government is structured, with a special emphasis on trade and investment promotion. It notes the experiences of a number of case studies, including Costa Rica and Singapore, in considering both general principles and making specific recommendations about the relationship. The article posits that the ways in which business and diplomacy interact depend on a combination of economic system and tradition. In much of the Western world, government and business maintain a healthy division, one carefully regulated and legally ordained. This division is less clear throughout much of the developing world. In China, for example, the state and business are usually inseparable. In Africa, the relationship is usually uncomfortably close or outright hostile. A similar pattern is discernable in other regions where elite interests drive policy choices. Such patterns are a product of history, circumstance, pragmatism, and culture.

Keywords: business, government, trade, investment, Costa Rica, Singapore, diplomacy

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