Table of Contents

  • In 1945 our founders enshrined the promotion of economic development and the improvement of the quality of life for people in all countries as fundamental objectives of the United Nations. Since then, countries have worked together to achieve these objectives and many of them have made great progress. Even so, the gap between developing and developed countries, and between rich and poor within many countries, remains as wide as ever. In some respects, it is growing even larger. Achieving sustainable and equitable development thus remains the unfinished task of the twentieth century.

  • The World Investment Report 1999 was prepared by a team led by Karl P. Sauvant and comprising Victoria Aranda, Bijit Bora, Persephone Economou, Masataka Fujita, Boubacar Hassane, Kálmán Kalotay, Gabriele Köhler, Padma Mallampally, Anne Miroux, Ludger Odenthal, Juan Pizarro, Marko Stanovic, James Xiaoning Zhan and Zbigniew Zimny. Specific inputs were received from Mehmet Arda, Mattheo Bushehri, John Gara, Khalil Hamdani, Mongi Hamdi, Anna Joubin-Bret, Assad Omer, Olle Östensson, Pedro Roffe, Taffere Tesfachew and Katja Weigl. The work was carried out under the overall direction of Lynn K. Mytelka.

  • The momentum for the expansion of international production continues to hold, though the world economy is currently affected by a number of factors that could discourage investment, including FDI by TNCs. FDI flows to developing countries declined in 1998, but that decline was confined to a few countries. Technology flows, as measured by technology payments, continued to grow, partly reflecting the increasing importance of technology in the production process. Cross-border M&As among developed countries have driven the expansion of FDI flows and international production capacity in 1998. This suggests that, in the face of diminished financing and reduced market prospects world-wide, TNCs in the Triad are concentrating on consolidating their assets and activities so as to strengthen their readiness for global expansion or survival once the health of the world economy, including countries affected by the recent financial crises and their aftermath, is fully restored.