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The meaning of Portuguese East India Company for liberalization of relations with the colonial Asia
Sapuntsov Andrey Leonidovich

Doctor of Economics

Senior Scientific Associate, Institute of Africa Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, the department of Financial Monitoring, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)

123001, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Spiridonovka, d. 30/1



This article examines the problematic of formation of the Portuguese East India Company – representative of the first generation of transnational corporations that in the XVII century allowed combining the disparate European merchants in spice trade with Asia. The subject of this article is the events conducted by Portugal for the purpose of centralizing the activity of private entrepreneurs in Asian colonies and shifting away from the outlived colonial model based on dominance of the government in organization of foreign expeditions. It is demonstrated that government constructs of colonial administration started experiencing difficulties associated to the decline in motivation of the employed population, escalating bureaucratization, shortage of capital and slowdown in merchandise flow. The criteria of performance of the European East India Companies are introduced into the scientific discourse. The scientific novelty consist in the fact that based on generalizing the initiatives of the Portuguese on formation of their own East India Company institutionalized directly “from above” only in 1628, the author determines the causes of its incapability to integrate into the system of colonial administration due to the severe shortage of private capital and substantial difficulties in managing trading activities, as well as accumulation of assets abroad. It is concluded that despite the satisfactory results during the first years of work, the Portuguese East India Company experienced series of setbacks related to the low level of investment attractiveness for the merchants and number of shipwrecks, which led to dissolution of this organization in 1633. In the future, Portugal was not able to implement the system of colonial transnational companies.

Keywords: transnational corporation, colonization, expansion, Goa, Casa da ĺndia, East-India Company, Portugal, overseas trade, private capital, denationalization



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