The Rise of Transnational Corporations from Emerging Markets
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The Rise of Transnational Corporations from Emerging Markets

Threat or Opportunity?

  • Studies in International Investment series

Edited by Karl P. Sauvant

This insightful book shows that foreign direct investment (FDI) from emerging markets has grown from negligible amounts in the early 1980s to $210 billion in 2007, with the stock of investment now being well over $1 trillion. This reflects the rise of firms from these economies to become important players in the world FDI market. The contributors to this book comprehensively analyze the rise of emerging market TNCs, the salient features of the transnational activities of these firms, the relationship of outward FDI and the competitiveness of the firms involved, their impact on host and home countries and implications for the international law and policy system.
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Chapter 11: Are Emerging-Market TNCs Sensitive to Corporate Responsibility Issues?

Carrie Hall

Extract

11. Are emerging-market TNCs sensitive to corporate responsibility issues? Carrie Hall INTRODUCTION The past decade has seen a rapid increase in the number, size and scope of transnational corporations (TNCs) based in emerging markets – growing from 3000 in 1990 to 13 000 within 10 years (UNCTAD 2006). Only a small number of these TNCs have become global competitors able to square off with traditional Western business leaders. Yet this limited occurrence, combined with the notion that multitudes of lesser-known emerging-market TNCs are expanding into foreign markets, has been enough to garner significant attention from almost every constituency – government, business, civil society, media and investors. For the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative, questions abound related to the business practices of emerging-market TNCs, practices that have been cultivated in areas renowned for deficient economic, political and social frameworks that often lead to low thresholds of ethical behavior and accountability for business. Currently, there is no clear indication of the prevalence of basic corporate citizenship tenets – human rights, labor rights, environmental protection, anti-corruption – within emerging-market TNCs. On the one hand, the corporate responsibility actions of leading emerging-market TNCs can be as sophisticated as those taken by the most advanced Western companies, and there are signs that corporate citizenship is becoming a global phenomenon. The Global Compact (through its participants and local networks) can be found in approximately 100 countries, a majority of them in the developing world. From Chile to China and South Africa to...

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