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FTA and Export Platform Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Japanese firm level data

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  • ITO Tadashi
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the choice of foreign direct investment (FDI) among four types—traditional horizontal FDI, traditional vertical FDI, export-platform horizontal FDI, and export-platform vertical FDI—focusing in particular on the recent phenomena of the export-platform type FDI. The theoretical discussion shows a prediction of the effect of free trade agreements (FTAs) on the FDI type chosen. The empirical discussion provides descriptive statistics which point to the growing importance of export-platform type FDI. It then shows supportive evidence for the model's prediction, using Japan's firm-level FDI data. More specifically, it is shown that regional trade agreements (RTAs), such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), drives horizontal export-platform-type FDI, whereas bilateral FTAs (Japan's economic partnership agreement in the context of the data used in this paper) in some cases induce vertical export-platform type FDI. The findings suggest some policy implications for FDI recipient countries. First, the obvious positive effect of an RTA on horizontal export-platform type FDI is an encouraging finding for countries forming them in that it leads to a reduction in production costs and a concomitant rise in production/consumption. Even more importantly, the finding is a testament to a rarely mentioned benefit of smaller countries joining RTAs. Second, the positive effect of a bilateral FTA between Japan and Malaysia on the vertical export-platform type FDI is also reassuring in the same reason of cost reduction and production/consumption increase.

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    File URL: http://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/13e100.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 13100.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:13100

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    1. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2012. "Networked FDI: Sales and Sourcing Patterns of Japanese Foreign Affiliates," NBER Working Papers 18083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
    3. Mitsuyo Ando & Fukunari Kimura, 2005. "The Formation of International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 14, pages 177-216 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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