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.


Global production networks and foreign direct investment by small and medium enterprises in ASEAN.

This paper examines cross-border investments by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from member states in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). It explains this relatively under-researched topic from the perspective of SMEs’ strategic coupling with or “plugging into” regional production networks coordinated by global lead firms. Facilitated by growing regional integration, these SMEs create and capture significant value added from their involvement in these production networks. The paper first highlights the different drivers of SME-specific FDI activities in ASEAN that contribute to strengthening regional economic integration through intra- and inter-firm activities in the region. The paper then explains the working of their strategic coupling with ASEAN-based production networks through different coupling mechanisms, such as international partnership, industrial specialization and production platforms. The key challenges confronting SME regionalization are highlighted. Finally, the paper considers the policy and practice of promoting SME regionalization so that they can plug into the growth dynamics of different regional production networks.


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