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World Investment Report 1993

Transnational Corporations and Integrated International Production

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There are over 37,000 transnational corporations in the world with over 170,000 foreign affiliates. This report presents for the first time ever data on the largest 100 non-financial transnational corporations ranked by foreign assets. It describes and analyses the continuing expansion of transnational corporations, the regionalization and globalization of firms, the emergence of an integrated international production system and some legal and policy implications of these developments. The wealth of information presented is complemented by over 80 statistical tables and charts related to the operations of transnational corporation.

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Global trends in foreign direct investment

The stock of foreign direct investment (FDI), a measure of the productive capacity of transnational corporations (TNCs) in foreign countries, reached some $2 trillion in 1992 (table 1.1). Over 170.000 foreign affiliates of some 37,000 parent firms generated approximately $5.5 trillion in world-wide sales in 1990. This compares with world exports of goods and non-factor services of $4 trillion, of which one third took the form of intra-firm trade. Annual world-wide flows of FDI grew rapidly during the second half of the 1980s (table 1.2 and annex table 1), but then declined in 1991 and. based on preliminary data, again in 1992. Even so, annual flows of FDI remain substantial, and have contributed to a significant growth in the global stock of FDI. Their growth will be stimulated by the further liberalization of FDI regulations that took place in 1992.

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