What geoeconomics is and who the study is relevant for
Geoeconomics is the study of spatial, cultural, and strategic aspects of resources, with the aim of gaining a sustainable competitive advantage. It is a continuation of the logic of geopolitics, applied to the era of globalization. Consequently the study is most relevant in the context of larger strategic entities, such as nations and multinational enterprises, which constantly face global competitive issues. Geoeconomics is an alternative multidisciplinary direction for the study of economics.
The difference between the disciplines of geopolitics and geoeconomics
The discipline of geoeconomics is different from that of geopolitics in two fundamental ways. First, with respect to topic, it is not primarily concerned with political and military activities, but with economic activities. Secondly, with respect to actors, the activities are not undertaken chiefly by individuals representing the nation state, but by employees of private-sector organizations, whose loyalties are first and foremost to the owners of those organizations. Geoeconomics, like geopolitics, is studied first of all with the interests of the nation state in mind, or from the macro perspective. This makes it more complex than the study of geopolitics, where the State itself is the primary actor.
The link to the study of strategy and intelligence studies
Both geopolitics and geoeconomics are closely linked to the study of strategy, where we try to define an optimal plan for our organizational or institutional objectives. As in the study of strategy, there is a realization that good decisions depend on intelligence, or valuable information. For the modern enterprise it is not enough simply to conduct market research, traditionally carried out by a market research department or, frequently, out sourced. It must become an intelligence organization in its own right, gathering information systematically not only about markets and customers, but about the other micro factors: competitors, ' suppliers, and about the industry in general. And as if that were not enough, it must also gather information about the macro environment: about economic, legal, political, infrastructure, ecological, technical, cultural, and social factors. The reason for this is that international businesses and markets have become more interdependent. What happens to one company in one part of the world today can have an immediate effect on another company in another part of the world. The world's stock exchanges are a good example. With globalization come shorter business cycles and greater competition, dependence, and vulnerability. The transition from being a major international company to failure can often be quite brief. The only way for companies consistently to react quickly enough in this environment is to develop an intelligence capability. This is one of the major lessons of what is called the information age, which, we should bear in mind, has existed only for one generation - in other words it has only just started. In future, companies are going to rely on ever more advanced business intelligence systems.
The importance of a good intelligence system has become increasingly apparent during the past few decades, basically for two reasons: the abundance of information now available due to new technologies (primarily the internet), and, as a consequence, the need to be able to distinguish between "need to know" and "nice to know". To cope with the information overload and the need for help in analyzing it, companies are developing a growing range of new software under the heading of business intelligence. We find business intelligence solutions fast becoming the nerve centers of larger organizations whose very existence depends on their ability to change and adapt rapidly. Nation states which want to attract multinational enterprises and remain competitive in the future need to understand this new situation and develop their own systems for "economic intelligence", which is the State's perspective and policies on these issues.