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Expanding the international trade and investment policy agenda: The role of cities and services

Christine Côté, Saul Estrin () and Daniel Shapiro
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Christine Côté: London School of Economics
Saul Estrin: London School of Economics
Daniel Shapiro: Simon Fraser University

Journal of International Business Policy, 2020, vol. 3, issue 3, No 1, 199-223

Abstract: Abstract We explore the public policy implications of two new, significant, and inter-related global phenomena. First, the rising share of services, particularly innovation-driven digital and knowledge-based services, in foreign trade and multinational enterprise activity; and second, the increasingly important role of global cities as home and hosts to these activities. Our framework distinguishes between national economic policies to promote trade and FDI, referred to as economic diplomacy, and comparable policies originating in cities, referred to as city diplomacy. National economic diplomacy has traditionally promoted trade and investment in goods, often through trade agreements and promotion agencies, and we explore the limitations of these tools as trade in services becomes more important. However, we also note that trade in services, particularly innovation-driven services, is concentrated in global cities, and traded between them, often within MNEs. We conclude that national policies on trade and investment cannot be divorced from innovation and knowledge strategies, and that these strategies cannot be divorced from cities. We emphasize that national economic diplomacy should be better aligned with city diplomacy. We also discuss how the transition to stronger city diplomacy may have consequences for firms and their strategies for corporate diplomacy.

Keywords: services; trade; and investment policy; economic diplomacy; city diplomacy; global cities; MNEs; corporate diplomacy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1057/s42214-020-00053-x

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