Modelling Russian outward FDI
Among emerging economies, the Russian Federation is the second largest outward investor, surpassed only by Hong Kong (China) but ahead of Brazil, China and India. This article analyses the main patterns of Russian outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), including its dynamics and geographical destinations. It also highlights the changing strategies of outward investing Russian firms: in the early 1990s, they were mostly privately-owned transnational corporations (TNCs), seeking 'safety nests' abroad to protect themselves from domestic uncertainty; these days, state-owned or -influenced TNCs dominate Russian capital exports, motivated by a desire to control the value chain of their products. There are, however, characteristics common to both periods, such as the predominance of natural resource-based firms among the largest Russian TNCs. Using those characteristics as a basis, the paper attempts to model formally Russian outward FDI. It tests the extent to which the mainstream theory (ownership and locational advantages) is applicable to the Russian context, as well as the role played by specific factors such as state ownership. Home-country factors seem to play a particularly important role in shaping Russian outward FDI. As for the motivations of FDI, in the CIS and developing countries, Russian TNCs seem to aim at controlling upstream natural resources, while in high-income countries they aim at controlling downstream markets.
Volume (Year): 16 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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