The Effects of a Politico-Economic Paradigm Shift
Edited by Mai Thi Thanh Thai and Ekaterina Turkina
Chapter 3: The internationalization of Polish firms: evidence from a qualitative study of FDI behaviour
The interest of international business scholars undertaking research on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has remained focused on inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) in the region (see, for example, Johanson and Johanson, 2006; Kouznetsov and Jones, 2009; Marinov and Marinova, 1999; Meyer, 2001; Meyer and Estrin, 2001; Uhlenbruck and De Castro, 2000). Foreign direct investment inflows played a significant role in the region's successful transformation and integration with the global economy. However, as the emerging outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) is now affecting the home and host economies, as well as the international competitiveness of incumbent firms, a shift of emphasis in the international business research agenda related to CEE is inevitable. Owing to political factors, the activities of local companies in the entire CEE region were predominantly limited to domestic markets prior to 1989. The transition process to a market-led system, implemented in the region since 1989, created new opportunities for firms to introduce and develop international operations. While export ties with foreign partners had already existed in the previous political and economic system, OFDI on an important scale by CEE firms, including those from Poland, has emerged only recently. Although Polish OFDI flows were registered in the 1990s, their increased pace, with a peak of US$8.9 billion in 2006, was not witnessed until the 2000s (UNCTAD, 2011, p. 187). Owing to this development, the gap between IFDI and OFDI, although still significant, has begun to decrease.
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