Eswatini Daily News


An efficient tool of good global governance ‘’diplomacy’’ needs first to overcome the stereotypes of ideology and military confrontation. And the task of diplomacy by foreign ministries as practised in a modern world is to search not for the balance of power, but for the balance of interest, the top priority today is to reinvigorate in full scope traditional methods of diplomacy, the search for compromise solutions, the all or nothing mentality no longer works. A partial and balanced approach is an answer to the new geopolitical and economic realities.

Trade has traditionally been a concern of diplomacy. Trade interest and trade policies are generally part of the central preoccupation of most states. Ideally, trade policy and foreign policy should support each other in the same way that defence and foreign policy have a mutually symbiotic relationship.

Foreign affairs ministries in an international relations trade policy rather more than defence has tended to pull in divergent directions from foreign policy, unless, as is sometimes the cases, economic issue dominate external policy, as a result, an additional task for diplomacy is dealing with external problems arising from the consequences of different lines of external policy.

An additional task for diplomacy is divergence between trade and foreign policy can sometimes arise from the practice of having separate diplomatic and trade missions, through reflecting the tendency to treat the political and foreign policy may also diverge in international relations because of demands made by established trade interest within states. Trade interest may of cause be acquired for a number of reasons, such as long-standing commercial links, entrepreneurial exploitation of overseas markets or a successful domestic lobbying. ( The case of Kingdom of Eswatini and all the diplomatic missions in the Kingdom)

It is also a role of the foreign ministries in international relations to explain or reconcile divergent interests to appropriate external actors or to bring the trade policy and interests into line with foreign policy. The process of bringing trade and foreign policy into alignment can be difficult if trade interest, broadly defined, secure either sufficient economic, importance or official support for the separate conduct of trade or even its pursuit at the expense of foreign policy.

Economic Diplomacy, trade policy may become a direct instrument of foreign policy. In this sense, trade is used to support or further objectives that are not exclusively economic but political or military. The political use of trade involves diplomacy in initiatives to develop goodwill, promote regional cooperation, gain political influence or strategic assets within another state through coercive sanctions and other forms of punitive ways. Trade interests and trade politics have played a key role in diplomatic power politics whereby countries have threatened each other through trade embargoes, territorial disputes and economic sanctions that have managed to submerge many countries’ economies.

Many countries have used both trade policy and foreign policy in order to influence change in other countries this has been a key tool by many developed countries and mostly when they want to bring regime change through their diplomatic power politics where many economies have collapsed resulting into revolution and in some instances Coup d’ etat.  International financial institutions also have been used as a tool in diplomatic power politics in an international arena.

A good example is the International financial institutions. A noticeable feature of this is the rise of demand of the International money lending institutions and other Asian countries activities in many African states where their policies have been a complete failure and ruining economies in the name of infrastructure development and funding with no conditions attached.  Africa’s rich natural resources are fuelling domestic economic growth of countries outside Africa.

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EDN August 14, 2023 Edition


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