The Rise of Transnational Corporations from Emerging Markets: Threat or Opportunity?

Edited by Karl P. Sauvant, with Kristin Mendoza & Irma Ince

{Edward Elgar Publishing: 2008}

Winter 2009

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In their new book, The Rise of Transnational Corporations from Emerging Markets: Threat or Opportunity?, Columbia Law School Lecturer-in-Law Karl P. Sauvant and Law School students Kristin Mendoza and Irmak Ince assemble a group of leading academics to examine the growing presence of emerging markets in the global foreign direct investment (FDI) market. Traditionally, Sauvant says, 90 to 95 percent of FDI has come from developed countries. But recent data shows that FDI from emerging markets has grown from negligible amounts in the 1980s to $300 billion now.

The subject of foreign direct investment is particularly timely now, as emerging markets come to the aid of ailing economies worldwide. As developed countries continue to suffer from the global financial crisis, and therefore invest less internationally, the International Monetary Fund expects FDI from emerging markets to grow by 3 percent this year. 

Still, the entrance of new players to the field of FDI undoubtedly raises issues related to regulation and increased competition. Those issues prompted Sauvant, the executive director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, to ask himself and readers whether this trend is a threat or an opportunity.

“I think it’s overwhelmingly an opportunity,” Sauvant says, “an opportunity to integrate emerging markets more in the international economy and give them more of a stake.”

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