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East Asian, European, and North American Multinational Firm Strategies in Latin America


  • Casanova Lourdes



Over the past decade, multinationals (MNCs) have followed three main objectives while entering Latin America: efficiency seeking, growth seeking, and resource seeking. Efficiency seeking MNCs aim to reduce costs in their global production process through access to cheaper labor, and proximity to destination markets such as the United States. Growth seeking firms enter Latin American markets to grow and/or acquire new markets. They are by nature more dependent on the macroeconomic conditions in local markets for their success. Resource seeking firms enter Latin America in the search of minerals, metals, and hydrocarbons. This paper introduces the concept of natural markets to explain the relative successes of MNCs from different regions Europe (mainly Iberian), USA, and Asia. Natural markets for a MNC are defined as those markets sharing a common history or language or having a high level of physical proximity with the country of origin of the MNC. This paper proposes that a firm focusing on natural markets has a comparative advantage, and thus increases the probability of its success. The paper also draws upon the experiences of successful MNCs in Latin America to infer some lessons for East Asian MNCs wishing to operate in the region.

Suggested Citation

  • Casanova Lourdes, 2004. "East Asian, European, and North American Multinational Firm Strategies in Latin America," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-40, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:6:y:2004:i:1:n:6

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    4. Austen-Smith, David, 1998. "Allocating Access for Information and Contributions," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 277-303, October.
    5. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2006. "Informational lobbying and political contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 631-656, May.
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