Dutch-German Coal Business, 1918-1925, The Impact of War on a transnational business relationship; The Rhenish Westphalian Coal Syndicate and the Coal Trade Association



The article focuses on the transnational business relationship between the German RWKS (Rhenish-Westphalian Coal-Syndicate, Essen) and the Dutch SHV (Coal Trade Association, Utrecht), which was a successful coal marketing relationship in the 1896-1945 period. The paper on the one hand shows the importance of the export market for the RWKS and on the other hand reflects on the intermediation through a foreign sales organization. Whereas the RWKS depended on the SHV for its sales organization, its distribution apparatus and its knowledge of the local market, the SHV depended on the RWKS for the sole selling rights for Ruhr coal on the Dutch market. In particular the paper concentrates on the concept of war as a „driver of change‟. World War I did not end this interdependent transnational cooperation, but created considerable leeway for tactical and strategical moves on both sides of the border that led to a new balance of power.
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Marten Boon