World Investment Report 1992

Transnational Corporations as Engines of Growth

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This timely study examines the role of TNCs as engines of international growth. Its analysis shows ample cause for optimism and it is hoped that the lessons learned from the analysis will assist in policy formulation and the design on technical assistance in an increasing number of countries and thereby help make the 1990s a decade of renewed economic development.




A major challenge facing the world economy today is the revival of economic growth, especially among developing countries, most of which have suffered serious setbacks during the 1980s. Transnational corporations and foreign direct investment can play an important role in meeting this challenge. Since the early 1980s, world investment flows have been expanding rapidly, much faster than other key economic variables such as world trade and world output. A number of major new developments in the global economic situation—the enhanced role of the private sector and a greater reliance on market forces, major technological breakthroughs, the globalization of firms and industries, the ascendancy of the services sector and trends towards a regionalization of markets—has placed foreign direct investment in a central position to influence the pace and the nature of economic growth in most countries. Finally, developing countries themselves have implemented notable and, in many cases, dramatic policy changes, in order to open their economies to greater contributions by transnational corporations.


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