International Business and the Entry of China into the Global Economy
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Robert Pearce
Chapter 1: China and the Multinationals
Robert Pearce The central theme of the chapters in this book is the understanding of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their relationship with the economic development of China and the implications of its emergence into the global economy. That inward foreign direct investment (FDI) played, as the policy reforms after 1978 expected it to do, a major role in Chinese economic development and its repositioning in the international economy is well understood. Less systematically documented is precisely how, beyond the quantitative access to development-related resources, inward FDI supported Chinese growth and the extent to which it mediated China’s entry into the global economy. A vital emphasis of one strand of the investigation here is that such important issues can be best elucidated by understanding how their operations in China fitted into the wider global strategies and competitive agendas of mature and well-established MNEs. More recent and complementary phenomena and research agendas then concern the substantial and pervasive growth of Chinese outward FDI. Here again the main focus of the reported research is to address issues that perceive the emergence of Chinese FDI as manifest in the origins of a new breed of MNE. The ways in which such nascent Chinese MNEs resemble, or deviate from, the mature Western MNEs investing in China constitutes a topic of immense academic and practical concern. Two broad issues can underpin such investigation. Firstly, what is the purpose of FDI from China and the international expansion of Chinese enterprise? What are the aims and strategic motivations...
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