By IAN H. BELL,
Vice Chairman, Board of Governors, TRI
Since the end of World War II, there has been an expansion
of international business and international services on a
scale that was never contemplated. During this period,
new political states have come into being in all corners of
the globe. The result has often been a clash between two
opposed ideologies, since the new states have tended to
grow up in former colonial empires and to follow an
ideology not always consistent with the capitalism of
America and Europe. Yet, the international companies
have found it necessary to do business in these new coun-tries,
while the countries themselves have found it helpful
to receive the investment and technological know-how
that international business can provide.
Arising from this situation, a key question faces political
and business leaders today: what should be the relation-ship
between the political state and the ever-increasing
number of international business firms?
It might be interesting to retrace the historical position
of the political state and the international corporation. The
latter is not a recent concept. Many major international
companies had grown to maturity in the 1920's and 1930's.
However, in most cases, they were operating either within
colonial empires or within "Western spheres of influence,"
and there were rarely any obvious clashes between their
interests and those of the governments of the countries