2011년 3월 24일 목요일

[자료] INTRA-ASIAN TRADE in 16th-17th centuries

자료: International Consortiums, Merchant Networks and Portuguese Trade with Asia in the Early Modern Period

지은이(By): Om Prakash, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi

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INTRA-ASIAN TRADE in 16th-17th centuries

Throughout the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century, trade between Portugal and Asia remained the raison d’etre of the Portuguese enterprise in the East.  But that should not lead us to lose sight of the fact that trade within Asia-or what the Portuguese termed ‘trade from India to India’-was also a very important component of the Portuguese commercial presence in Asia.  Indeed, beginning as early as the period of Afonso de Albuquerque (1509-15), the intra-Asian trade of the Portuguese was considerably larger in value and substantially more lucrative than the trade between Goa and Lisbon. It is another matter that, while a large part of the profit in the intercontinental trade went to the Portuguese Crown, the profit from the intra-Asian trade accrued overwhelmingly to private individuals.  Precise quantitative data are hard to come by but the available evidence would seem to establish the broad orders of magnitude.  A Dutch estimate pertaining to 1622 put the working capital invested annually by the Portuguese Crown and country traders in the intra-Asian trade at the enormously high figure of f.50 million.  But in all likelihood, this particular estimate was grossly inflated on purpose in order to obtain larger amounts of capital from the Netherlands.  That the value of the Portuguese intra-Asian trade around this time was nevertheless quite impressive is, however, borne out by the 1630 Bocarro estimate of the annual investment in this trade from Goa alone being 2.85 million xerafins (the equivalent of f.6.6 million)-about fifteen times the value of the Portuguese India Company merchandise exported to Lisbon that year.[20]

The Portuguese participation in intra-Asian trade was substantial during the sixteenth century as well.  Luis Filipe F.R. Thomaz has argued, for example, that even in respect of an item such as cloves, of the total amount bought by the Crown factors (which did not amount to more than 12.5 per cent of the estimated output in the Moluccas), less than a third (32 per cent) found its way to Lisbon, the rest being sold in places such as China, Burma, Indonesia, India and Persia.  As for profitability, Thomaz has pointed out that against an annual average of 33,000 cruzados earned by the Captain-Major together
with the captains of each of the naus of the returning fleet from Goa to Lisbon between 1570 and 1590, the average annual profit earned in the intra-Asian voyages around 1580 was five times as much.[21]

Some of the Portuguese intra-Asian trade fed the export of Moluccan spices to Lisbon: indeed these spices were procured overwhelmingly against Indian textiles. But the bulk of this trade was aimed simply at earning profit.  Quite early in the sixteenth century, mainly with the help of Tamil keling merchants settled at Malacca, the Portuguese managed to make their way into a complex intra-Asian trading network of goods and routes with Malacca as the centre-point.  The goods that figured in this network originated, apart from southeast Asia, in China, in India and, on a limited scale, in the Middle East.  The southeast Asian goods included cloves from the Moluccas, nutmeg and mace from Banda, and pepper from Sumatra and Sunda, besides items such as sandalwood from Timor, camphor from Borneo, gold from Sumatra, tin from Malaya and precious stones from Burma.  These goods were first collected at Malacca and then
re-exported to China, Japan, and to various ports in the Indonesian archipelago as well as those around the Bay of Bengal.  Some of the cargo was also sent on to the west coast of India, whence a part found its way to Persia and the Near East and another to Europe via the Cape route.

The principal item procured in China was porcelain, though silk, lacque, jewellery and copper coins were also obtained there.  Malacca served as the principal transit point for redistribution to the western India, Near East and Europe complex as well as to the archipelago and the Bay of Bengal complex.  After the founding of Macao in 1557, however, the transit role of Malacca for the archipelago was increasingly eroded and direct connections were established.  India, as noted earlier, mainly provided textiles which were used primarily to buy the Indonesian spices and drugs.  This practice was so
established and so extensive that in many of the treaties concluded between the Portuguese and the suppliers of spices the prices of the latter were specified in terms of Indian textiles, rather than in any currency.  As far as goods available in the Middle East were concerned, the Portuguese involvement was rather limited and confined to goods such as silk, carpets and worked leather, and base metals such as iron, copper, lead and mercury.

The voyages undertaken included both those on the high-seas circuits as well as those on the coastal ones.  From Tome Pires, we know the details of one of the coastal voyages from Malacca to the Moluccas.  A direct route via Brunei, which the Portuguese initiated around 1525, would have taken only forty days.  But the preferred route was a much longer one taking as many as eleven months to traverse.  The principal commodity carried on the outward trip was Indian textiles and the first stop was in eastern Java at ports such as Gresik and Panarukan where the better quality textiles were exchanged against caxas and sapecas, Chinese copper coins of small value.  The coins were employed to buy rice as well as low-quality cotton textiles at Bima which, in turn,
together with the remainder of the Indian textiles loaded at Malacca, were used to buy mace, nutmeg and cloves in Banda and the Moluccas respectively.  The hopping trip was extremely profitable and fully justified the much longer time taken.


Crown participation in intra-Asian trade

The extensive Portuguese network of intra-Asian trade grew basically along the lines defined by the pre-existing commercial system.  As it happened, the period of the Portuguese apprenticeship was shortened considerably by the advice and assistance provided by the keling merchants of Malacca.  In the wake of the Gujarati merchants’ increasing withdrawal from the city following its conquest in 1511, the Tamil keling merchants had emerged as the single most important group of Indian merchants operating from Malacca.  Amongst the Portuguese, the lead in the matter of getting into intra-Asian trade in a big way was taken by the Crown, though the period over which the Crown's involvement in this trade lasted was not very long.
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