The first thing to note is that this chapter refers to trade as opposed to business. Trade generally refers to the movement of goods between nations, whilst business includes trade, but is more far-reaching, as it comprises different forms of business alliances and co-operative ventures, direct and indirect foreign investments, and the organisation and management of the people involved. As early trading relationships were rather basic and straightforward, the focus was always on trade rather than business in the widest sense: hence the title of the chapter. government in trade, and why is it different in some countries? Why are some countries more economically developed and advanced in terms of international trade than others? The answer to these and many other questions is generally to be found in the historical development of business, and the ways in which countries have influenced (and sometimes directed) business objectives, generally as a consequence of the available resources. This is not a new process as it has been going on for centuries; however, to fully appreciate many current aspects of international business (IB), we must begin by examine the starting point of all IB activities – which is International Trade (IT). ‘Why do nations trade?’ is an important question, as there must be some compelling reason for international activity, as IT is a complex, expensive, and risk-laden process. Thus, the decision to trade internationally is likely to be a consequence of the various forms of motivation (or perceived benefit) that exert an influence on both countries and companies.
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