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Southeast Asia: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment Policies in Development

Stephen Thomsen

No 1999/1, OECD Working Papers on International Investment from OECD Publishing

Abstract: At a time of continuing financial crisis in Asia, the question of the appropriate policies for recovery and for future sustainable development is paramount. One area of particular importance is the treatment of foreign investors. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has played a leading role in many of the economies of the region, particularly in export sectors, and has been a vital source of foreign capital during the crisis. The four countries reviewed in this study — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand (referred to hereinafter as the ASEAN4) — have all to varying degrees welcomed inward investment for its contribution to exports. As a result, although only a small share of total investment or employment in each economy, FDI has been a key factor driving export-led growth in Southeast Asia. Foreign firms have by no means been the only actors, but they have played a leading role in those sectors with the fastest export growth such as electronics. Through such investment ...

Date: 1999-01-01
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