For some people multinational companies are the devil, malignous actors that go in search of business opportunities paying no attention to the developmental consequnces of their actions; for others, foreign direct investment is the recipe for economic development in poor countries and no effort must be spared to make the business environment welcome to them. Can such categorical statements be discussed without ideological prejudice? This volume attempts to do so, helping the reader find her way in a fierce and often confusing debate. Particular attention is paid to the long-term nature of multinationals and to the similarities and differences between foreign direct investment in this and in previous stages of globalization. What are the effects of foreign investors on development -- both in advanced industrial countries and in the world's "peripheries" (Africa, Asia, Latin America)? Why have some countries already entered global supply chains and others still falter? Which national policies attract foreign investors? What, if anything, should be done to maximize the benefits of foreign direct investment? What can rich nations and international institutions do to help?
Andrea Goldstein is a senior economist at the OECD Development Centre.
Lucia Piscitello is a professor of international business at the Politecnico di Milano. They have published many papers and essays on structural reforms, business competitiveness and economic integration in developed and developing countries.