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The Commercial Relations

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Chapter Summary

Of all the merchandise imported into Tonkin by the Company, silver constituted the staple commodity. In Tonkin, the Dutch factors advanced this silver to local rulers, brokers, and silk-weavers in order to acquire silks during the summer sale. After Japan banned the export of its silver in 1668, most of the silver the VOC imported into Tonkin was either from the Netherlands or other Asian countries. With the exception of silver and copper which constituted the most distinguishable trends in the VOC’s import trade with Tonkin during the 1637–1700 period, the importation of all other commodities was small by comparison. Chinese raw silk and silk piece-goods were undoubtedly among the most important merchandise which European merchants trading in Asia in the early modern period attempted to procure for both the intra-Asian trade and the European market.

Keywords: commercial relations; Japan; raw silk; silver; Tonkin



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