Read the working paper
INSEAD Working Paper 2013/73/ST
While the West is struggling to find a way out of recession, emerging markets present myriad opportunities for growth. This paper offers a new perspective on how global economic triangulation facilitates trade between regions. Triangulation occurs where barriers exist to trade and investment between two countries and a third party (e.g. a country) acts as a facilitator or bridge. The “bridge model”, as we call it, shifts the focus away from national policy as a facilitator of international trade and emphasizes the role of companies. Corporate bridge-building is essentially a form of economic triangulation, and we use the terms “bridge” and “triangulation” interchangeably. Various examples are cited to show how Spanish multinational companies have served as a bridge connecting Asia and Latin America, and in so doing have expanded their own business. Thanks to their links with both regions they create business relationships that might otherwise be impeded by cultural or language barriers, facilitating the flow of products, knowledge and financial resources. In this way firms in otherwise stagnating economies have an opportunity to grow by facilitating trade and investment between emerging markets via the bridge model.