Traders as Manufacturers

Geoffrey Jones

in Merchants to Multinationals

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199249992
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596483 | DOI:
 Traders as Manufacturers

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This chapter discusses the limited investments of the British trading companies in manufacturing, and there are case studies of investments in sugar refining and cotton textiles. Before 1914, the search for profitable opportunities and the exploitation of scope economies led to investments in manufacturing jute and textiles, and processing raw materials, but in general, the merchant houses were more interested in earning commission on selling goods than owning equity in manufacturing. During the 1960s and 1970s, many companies tried to limit their manufacturing businesses in developed markets, but few possessed the skills needed to succeed.

Keywords: commission; cotton textiles; developed markets; equity; jute; manufacturing; scope economies; sugar refining

Chapter.  17755 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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