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Trade Diplomacy: Powerful Western Oil Companies in Developing World

by on April 20, 2013

The colonial era still in place in most developing nations in Africa, Middle East and Latin America, when it came to trade and resource manipulation where the west trying to dictate and guide the rest to what is good for them.

The trade diplomacy was very active and present after colonial withdrawal from most of African countries in late 1950’s and 1960’s to continue a relations based on interests between new nations and old rulers, so, one of these trade companies was western oil companies to produce oil and gas and sell to the developed world.


Although Oil and Gas rich countries have their own companies (nation owned companies) still the main producers and suppliers are west owned companies like Shell, Chevron, Conoco, BP, Total, Royal Dutch Shell and others. According to Guardian newspaper, these companies become the front runners of west trade diplomacy where all business deals with Gulf nations and Africa used in their channel.

There are serious accusations on these companies relating with corruption, payment of bribes to government officials and selling illegal arms to guerrilla groups or even creating armed oppositions in certain countries to win deals from government.  On the other hand, in the crisis time these oil companies take very important steps to minimize these crises in back channel diplomacy.


Different U.S and British Intelligence sources revealed that unnamed oil companies participated the elimination of Angolan guerilla war leader Jonas Savimbi and later won oil and gas drilling deals in the country. Oil companies often paved the way for new diplomatic relations between two countries with further business deals like import and export goods, arms, food, technology, exchange trainings and other essential things.


One good example is, most of Gulf nations are regular clients for U.S, Britain and France to receive constantly heavy and light weapons, while these rich countries export their natural resources to western markets. In similar step, U.S President Barak Obama invited newly elected president of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohmoud in White House to inform him that U.S still wanted to see all energy deals with Somalia before nation collapse in 1991 to remain unchanged and instead of that U.S will give Somalia full recognition and advance cooperation.  






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  1. your article is very interesting because it shows a different perspective of diplomacy. It shows exploitation still exist, big nations taking advantages of smaller nations and their resources through the use of diplomacy and trade.

  2. This article provides with a clear idea of how much more development is required when it comes to state partnership and relations. Exploitation is still at its existence as well as the presence of dominating and subordinate countries, with the more influential countries taking advantage of the once with less power in terms of trade.

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