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Edited by Henry Wai-chung Yeung
Chapter 20: Explaining Multinational Companies from the Developing Economies of East and Southeast Asia
20. Explaining multinational companies from the developing economies of East and Southeast Asia Paz Estrella Tolentino Data for 2003 show that developing countries accounted for US$858.7 billion or around 10 per cent of worldwide stock of outward foreign direct investment (FDI), with South, East and Southeast Asia responsible for almost 71 per cent of the stock of outward FDI from developing countries, and around 7 per cent of the worldwide stock of outward FDI (UNCTAD, 2004). The most important home countries of FDI in South, East and Southeast Asia, based on size of outward FDI stock, were, in declining order, Hong Kong (China), Singapore, Taiwan, China, South Korea and Malaysia.1 Despite the low signiﬁcance of developing countries in general, and South, East and Southeast Asia in particular, in the worldwide stock of outward FDI, there are at least several striking features that draw attention to the high degree of multinationality of some multinational companies (MNCs) based in the region. First, there are currently at least 9614 parent companies of MNCs based in the region, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the parent companies based in all developing countries, and 16 per cent of the parent companies based in the whole world. Second, Hong Kong (China), Singapore and Malaysia ranked ﬁrst, third and ﬁfteenth, respectively, in the list of the world’s top 20 countries, in terms of the outward FDI performance index in 2001–3, measured in terms of the size of outward FDI stock.2 Third, the four...
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