International Trade and Foreign Direct Investments
International trade continued to flourish right through the periods of the Greek and Roman empires, increasing in volume as technological advances progressed in shipbuilding and navigation. Famous personalities in the history of international trade include Venetian Marco Polo, who traveled to China in the thirteenth century, and Vasco de Gama, from modern Portugal, who opened the spice trade when he sailed around Africa to India in 1498. In the 1600s, Holland became a center of trade in several commodities, including financial futures contracts. In 1688 Edward Lloyd
opened a coffee house in London where marine insurance was openly traded. Today Lloyd’s continues to be a leading market for insurance in the world.