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The purpose of this study is to explore the concept of gateway cities as it applies under conditions of contemporary economic globalisation. A case study of Brazilian cities within domestic and global banking circles is used to show that city gateway functions in Brazil are more complex than is generally supposed. Principle components analysis of banking activity across both leading Brazilian cities and world cities generates six ‘common’ banking location strategies comprising separate subnets of cities: there are three largely regional strategies, two transnational strategies, and one national strategy. Although Sao Paulo is confirmed as the dominant gateway city in Brazil, the city subsets show a range of uses of cities by banks in Brazil including a Curitiba subnet emerging as an incipient strategy that actually bypasses Sao Paulo. The general finding is that under conditions of contemporary globalisation concentration and dispersion processes in Brazil are operating simultaneously.

Keywords: Brazilian banking system; Brazilian cities; gateway cities; principal components analysis; world cities; world city network

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9663.2006.00361.x

Affiliations: 1: Production Engineering, COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, CEP 21945 970, Brazil., Email: consoni@pep.ufrj.br 2: Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK., Email: P.J.Taylor@lboro.ac.uk

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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