par Rosenfeld, Martin
Référence Globility international meeting (23-24/9/2011: Sapienza Universita di Roma, Italie)
Publication Non publié, 2011-09-23
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : Globalization has brought important changes to human mobility: we are now speaking of migratory circulation and the assimilation process is challenged by transnational practices. Those changes are particularly interesting when analyzing the economic level. I will illustrate this through a study of the Euro-African secondhand car exportation business. Hundreds and thousands of secondhand cars are shipped annually from Europe to Africa. This economic activity is organized via different business places. I studied more specifically two of them: Brussels and Cotonou (Benin). The transnational dimension of this activity is very complex. Cars from all over Europe, gathered in Brussels, are shipped by Lebanese business people through an Italian company to West Africa, where they are re-exported to Niger, in order to reach the Nigerian market. I will focus here on the main actor of this activity: the secondhand car importer. Those importers have a status of entrepreneurs. I worked with Beninese and Lebanese importers, allowing a comparative analysis between them. This comparison is very rich regarding the human mobility dimension. The Lebanese are organized as a trading diaspora. Lebanese importers working in Cotonou never travel to buy their cars. They rely on the Lebanese diaspora living all around the world for sending them secondhand cars. On the contrary, most Beninese importers travel themselves to buy their secondhand cars. They cannot rely on an important community living in Brussels. Moreover, they have difficulties trusting each other in order to work in partnership. Surprisingly, while working in the same business sector, Beninese and Lebanese importers are characterized by a very different kind of mobility and establishment in business places like Brussels. The characteristics of those entrepreneurs will be discussed in this contribution.