Continuity and Change in Latin America and Spain
Edited by Paloma Fernández Pérez and Andrea Lluch
In recent years, the concept of emerging countries has become more pervasive and widespread, with an emphasis on the increasing flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) coming from these economies and the growing importance of their enterprises and business groups in rankings of the largest global businesses. The last three decades have witnessed numerous congresses, digital publications, books, monographs and reports from financial institutions (Casanova, 2009; Fernández Pérez, 2012; Guillén and Garc'a Canal, 2009, 2013; Jones and Khanna, 2006; Khanna and Palepu, 1997) that attempt to account for this relative boom and the success of the main business players from emerging countries. For many experts, this process reached its point of maximum acceleration towards the end of the 1980s, during the most recent wave of financial globalization, and the increases in deregulation, privatization and global capital flows. With the support of banks and governments, ‘new’ private giants arose in innovative and strategic sectors such as energy, telecommunications, finance and logistics, and in traditional activities in which technological innovation was key, such as food, construction and commercial distribution (Guillén, 2000; Khanna and Yafeh, 2007). According to this line of study, the increase in the number of large businesses and business groups from emerging economies in the ranking of the largest groups in the world seems to be a relatively recent and uncharted development, one that is perceived as an opportunity for investment funds, and sometimes as a threat by groups and multinationals from Europe, Japan and the United States.