1887

Transnational Corporations

This journal takes a fresh look at major legal, sectorial, regional and environmental issues facing corporations operating internationally. Released three times a year, it provides in-depth policy-oriented research findings on significant issues relating to the activities of transnational corporations.

English

Foreign direct investment as a catalyst for domestic firm development: The case of Sri Lanka

Foreign direct investment (FDI) carried out by multinational enterprises (MNEs) is recognized as a mechanism through which domestic firms can learn and improve competitiveness. Unlike the extant literature, which tends to focus on the aggregate effects of FDI in Sri Lanka, we investigate the role of FDI for domestic firm development at the firm level. Using World Bank Enterprise Survey data supplemented by industry data, preliminary investigation reveals that, compared with domestic firms, MNEs are larger, more productive, more profitable and more active in research and development (R&D). MNEs hire higher proportions of skilled workers and undertake more in-house training programs. They are also more export-oriented but rely more on inputs of foreign origin. The gaps between foreign and domestic firms indicate the potential that Sri Lankan firms can learn from MNEs and from FDI. The econometric study on firm-level productivity indicates positive direct effects and negative spillover effects of FDI on domestic firms. The findings have important policy implications.

English

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