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Foreign Investment, Divestment and Relocation by Japanese Electronics Firms in East Asia

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  • René Belderbos
  • Jianglei Zou

Abstract

Although foreign divestment and international relocation by multinational firms carry important economic implications for the industrialization of East Asian countries, there has been little empirical research on these issues. In this paper we analyze the magnitude and pattern of foreign divestment and relocation by Japanese electronics firms in nine East Asian countries during 1995-2003. The average annual divestment rate of electronics manufacturing affiliates is 3 percent, but divestment patterns diverge strongly across countries. Divestments are much more frequent in higher labor cost countries and in approximately one-third of cases are accompanied by relocations to lower wage countries, particularly to China. Evidence is found for rivalry between China and ASEAN countries in attracting foreign direct investment, but the growing attractiveness of China has not been accompanied by a reduction in employment in Japanese affiliates in ASEAN countries (with the exception of Singapore). Divestments and relocations are related to Japanese firms' strategy to reconfigure their Asian production networks in response to changing competitiveness, regional integration, and changes in local investment environments. Copyright 2006 East Asian Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by East Asian Economic Association in its journal Asian Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:20:y:2006:i:1:p:1-27

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Cited by:
  1. Fukunari Kimura & Ayako Obashi, 2011. "Production Networks in East Asia : What We Know So Far," Trade Working Papers 23216, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  2. Tony Tong & Jing Li, 2008. "Real options and MNE strategies in Asia Pacific," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 153-169, January.
  3. Tomassen, Sverre & Benito, Gabriel R.G., 2009. "The costs of governance in international companies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 292-304, June.
  4. Jesús F. Lampón & Pablo Cabanelas-Lorenzo & Santiago Lago-Peñas, 2013. "Why firms relocate their production overseas? The answer lies inside: corporate, logistic and technological determinants," Working Papers 2013/3, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  5. Lampón, Jesús F. & Lago-Peñas, Santiago & Cabanelas, Pablo, 2013. "Can the periphery achieve core? The case of the automobile components industry in Spain," MPRA Paper 52879, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Rünno Lumiste, 2006. "Migration of Electronics Production. Optimisation of Technology or Labour Costs?," Working Papers 148, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology.

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