International and foreign economic relations


The global division of labor, the development of international institutions and transnational corporations have united all countries of the world into a complex system of relationships. By the middle of the 20th century, there were no countries left without international and foreign economic relations. The most closed country in the world, North Korea conducts international trade with dozens of countries, including Russia, despite the sanctions imposed by the UN. Tokelau’s poorest country in the world has connections with New Zealand, receiving financial assistance from there. And the country's international foreign economic relations are in fact also limited to New Zealand, which is responsible for the security of the three atolls of which this state is composed.

What is international relations?

Since the emergence of the ancient states, the first international relations were established, first military and trade. With the development of society and the state, new areas of interaction appeared in politics, culture, religion and many other spheres of human activity. All these types of relations between states, associations of states, public, cultural, religious and political organizations in the international arena are now included in the concept of international relations. In a broad sense, this is all relations between nations.


Sometimes they share international and foreign economic relations. Then everything connected with economic relations in the world market - trade, investment, scientific and technical interaction - is distinguished in the concept of foreign economic relations. And everything else, including political, cultural, humanitarian and other ties, are international.

Types of international relations

Differences in geographic location, climatic and natural conditions, levels of development of productive forces, labor, means of production and capital lead to the fact that countries are “forced” to build international relations and especially their economic part.


Conventionally, international relations are divided into:

  • political - are considered the main ones that determine the presence and degree of interaction in other areas;
  • economic - are inextricably linked with political ties, foreign policy is almost always aimed at protecting economic relations and obtaining better conditions for the subjects of international trade;
  • international legal - regulate relations by establishing norms and rules of work in other areas (close connection of foreign economic relations of economics and law is always decisive for successful economic activity);
  • military-strategic, military-technical - few countries in the world can single-handedly ensure the protection of their national interests; countries unite into military alliances, conduct joint military exercises, jointly produce or buy weapons.
  • cultural and humanitarian - globalization of public consciousness, interaction and interpenetration of cultures and almost instantaneous availability of information quickly increase and strengthen these ties; non-governmental and public organizations play an increasingly important role here.

Main subjects

For a long time, international and foreign economic relations were considered as the exclusive prerogative of the state. The countries agreed on political and military cooperation and the conditions and volumes of foreign trade. With the development and complication of public life, all new members joined the international activities, in addition to the states. Foreign economic entities also recognize transnational corporations, which often work directly with states.


The first such company was the British East India Company, established by decree of the English Queen Elizabeth I and which was engaged in the colonization of India and China, and even had its own army. The subjects of international and foreign economic relations are:

  • nation states;
  • international organizations;
  • non-governmental organizations;
  • transnational corporations;
  • religious organizations;
  • public, political, environmental and other associations.

Chief of Communications

International relations emerged as a relationship between countries. The state represents the country as a whole to the outside world, and not separate social groups, organizations or movements. This is the only legitimate institution that will determine the state policy of all sides of international life from declaring war to determining the conditions for economic cooperation and cultural exchange. Any actions of the state are aimed at obtaining a favorable environment for the implementation of foreign economic relations.


The level and quality of international, including foreign economic relations is determined by the competitiveness of the state, its economic and military potential. Of course, the level of national wealth, natural and labor resources, the level of development of science and education, and achievements in the field of high technologies are also important.

International institutions


Associations of states began with military alliances of Greek cities-states with the development of public consciousness came to the creation of one of the first international organizations - the League of Nations, which became the prototype of modern cooperation institutions. Now hundreds of international organizations are full participants in international relations in all spheres of human activity. For example, organizations engaged in foreign economic relations - the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and several others provide financial and technical support to all countries that need such assistance. The UN is a universal organization that operates in all spheres, ranging from politics and cultural ties to military peacekeeping operations.

Global opportunities


Distinguish foreign economic activity, which are individual enterprises for the purchase of goods or attracting investment in the world market from foreign economic relations, which are considered as a set of activities of all such companies. However, with the increase in the scale of activity and the exit to the supranational level, the approach also changes.

Since the middle of the 20th century, transnational corporations have been recognized as full participants in international relations. Global corporations, whose economic opportunities have become higher than those of many countries of the world, have begun to influence directly many aspects of international life. Corporations operating in the jurisdiction of dozens of countries often enter into agreements with them that regulate not only the conditions of actual foreign economic relations, but also scientific, cultural, and humanitarian relations.

Politics is primary


Politics determines everything. Political relations create prerequisites and conditions for the development of all types of international relations, including foreign economic relations of countries. They define, form, ensure the security of cooperation between states and other subjects of international relations. Depending on the level of political relations, countries establish the rules of economic interaction. Recently, when the US government announced the introduction of protective duties aimed at protecting the market from steel products, it made an exception for its neighbor Canada. Then they began negotiations with their Asian allies, South Korea and Japan, on conditions under which new rules would not apply to these countries.

Connections in the external economy

The Institute of Foreign Economic Relations is the same age as the first states. Barely born, the countries began to fight and trade among themselves. For a long time international trade was practically the only type of foreign economic relations. With the development of technology and the world division of labor, new types of connections have emerged, which are now divided into the types described below.

  • International trade.
  • Scientific and technical cooperation.
  • Economic cooperation.
  • International cooperation.

The economy of foreign economic relations includes, among other things, more than 30 trillion world trade and 35 trillion foreign direct investments.

Something about Russia


Complex international relations with the developed countries of the world had a negative impact on Russia's foreign economic relations. The introduction of mutual sanctions, especially with its largest trading partner, the European Union, which accounts for 52 percent of trade, reduced foreign trade and investment opportunities. Against the background of increasingly deteriorating international relations with the countries of the Atlantic Union, Russia is successfully building up relations with the countries of the BRICS, especially with China. Having the largest natural resources, Russia in the international division of labor still occupies a not very attractive role as a supplier of minerals and agricultural raw materials. Of the more than 393 billion exports of goods and services, only 9.6 billion accounted for high-tech products and 51.7 billion for services.

Links give the result

To paraphrase a classic, one cannot live in the world and be free from the world. There are already no countries not involved in international cooperation, which enables countries to use their advantages and level their shortcomings by:

  • strengthening the international division of labor - countries can specialize in the production of goods that they can best produce at the lowest cost;
  • saving social costs - it is possible to efficiently allocate limited resources among the global market participants;
  • the intensification of the exchange of scientific and technical results - international cooperation and economic cooperation provide an opportunity for the rapid exchange of scientific and technical achievements;
  • increasing the use of market economy mechanisms - competition in the global market forces us to use the most efficient methods of management.

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