Commercial Diplomacy and Its Role in the 21st Century

  • Erik Pajtinka
Keywords: Commercial diplomacy, diplomatic missions, globalization, transnational corporations (TNC), bilateral diplomacy, foreign policy


As a result of stability in the field of international relations and the absence of acute security threats in many countries and regions of the world (this applies to the EU as well), and as a consequence of the influence of globalization in particular, the importance of the economic dimension of foreign policy is more accentuated at the beginning of the 21st century. Therefore, commercial diplomacy is more important as well, and at the same time, the character of its functions changes, which is the main object of research in this study. In the first part, a brief historical survey of functions of commercial diplomacy, from their very beginnings to their present shape, is drafted. In the second chapter, the term commercial diplomacy is defined, and related terms are described as well. In the third part, the following basic functions of commercial diplomacy (as implemented in contemporary practice) are analyzed: trade promotion and development, investment promotion, economic-information functions, political-legislative functions, development aid assistance and state promotion. The fourth part of this work is focused on the issue of transnational companies (TNCs), whose number rose dramatically in the last few decades, and at present, this subject is considered to be one of the most important factors influencing the character of commercial diplomacy both currently and in the future. The author concludes that commercial diplomacy will be focused particularly on small and medium sized enterprises in the future. At the same time, the complexity of functions of commercial diplomacy will rise, particularly as a result of a diffusion of the economic and political dimensions of foreign policy.

Author Biography

Erik Pajtinka