Trade balances, economic growth and linkages to multinational foreign direct investment to Asia

Hassan, Mahboubul
Samii, Massood
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Southern New Hampshire University
This research has investigated whether trade balance is an indicator of foreign direct investments by a multinational corporation. It addresses two principal research questions. First, what are the determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Asia? Second, is trade balance an indicator of FDI? If so, is there any lag effect on FDI for a specific Asian country? Based on annualized time series data for 8 sampled countries in Asia, the results indicate for majority of sampled Asian countries significant statistical correlation exists between the four explanatory variables (GDP growth rate, trade balance, percentage change in real wages, and the average tax rate) and the monetary size of FDI. For majority of sampled Asian countries the coefficient of trade balance is statistically significant, and for only 2 sampled Asian countries, the study indicate significant statistical correlation exists between one period lag monetary size of FDI and the current period FDI. Based on the empirical findings, an MNC, by investing (FDI) in either exportable or import substitutable products of countries that are facing trade balance problems, will be in a stronger position to negotiate better incentives from the host country which in turn will enhance the MNCs value. This research has also shown that an MNC, which is looking for a location of its FDI, will be better off by investing in the sampled Asian countries that are facing trade balance problems and simultaneously are the recipient of FDI.
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