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Foreign Direct Investment and Services Trade: Evidence from Malaysia and Singapore


  • Koi Nyen Wong
  • Tuck Cheong Tang
  • Dietrich Fausten


Services trade is an important source of growth in Malaysia and Singapore. Both economies are export-oriented and actively court foreign direct investment (FDI) to advance their economic objectives of industrialization and economic development. This paper examines the causal linkages between inward FDI and the country's engagement in services trade in bi-variate and tri-variate VAR frameworks. The empirical findings for Singapore show evidence of bi-directional causality between inward FDI and the total trade volume in services (i.e. the absolute sum of payments and receipts) as well as between FDI and services imports (in the tri-variate specification). This may reflect her relative open foreign investment policy and free trade regime in services. For Malaysia, the evidence of causality is weaker and uni-directional, from inward FDI to services imports. These findings are consistent with the different stages of economic development and openness attained by the two sample countries, and they provide useful background for trade and foreign investment policies and development strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Koi Nyen Wong & Tuck Cheong Tang & Dietrich Fausten, 2009. "Foreign Direct Investment and Services Trade: Evidence from Malaysia and Singapore," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 265-276.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:glecrv:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:265-276 DOI: 10.1080/12265080903157318

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippa Dee & Kevin Hanslow, 2002. "Multilateral liberalisation of services trade," International Trade 0207002, EconWPA.
    2. James R. Markusen & Thomas F. Rutherford & David Tarr, 2000. "Foreign Direct Investments in Services and the Domestic Market for Expertise," NBER Working Papers 7700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Granger, C. W. J., 1988. "Some recent development in a concept of causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 199-211.
    5. Tuck Cheong Tang & Koi Nyen Wong, 2007. "Foreign Direct Investment and Electronics Exports: Exploratory Empirical Evidence from Malaysia's Top Five Electronics Exports," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 6(14), pages 1-8.
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    7. Alguacil, Ma. Teresa & Cuadros, Ana & Orts, Vicente, 2002. "Foreign direct investment, exports and domestic performance in Mexico: a causality analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 371-376, November.
    8. Penélope Pacheco-López, 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment, Exports and Imports in Mexico," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(8), pages 1157-1172, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. SAHOO, Pravakar & KUMAR DASH, Ranjan, 2014. "India's surge in Modern Services Exports: Empirics for policy," Working Papers 2014010, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    2. Sahoo, Pravakar & Dash, Ranjan Kumar, 2014. "India's surge in modern services exports: Empirics for policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1082-1100.
    3. de Boyrie Maria E, 2010. "Structural Changes, Causality, and Foreign Direct Investments: Evidence from the Asian Crises of 1997," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 9(4), pages 1-40, January.

    More about this item


    Causality; services trade; foreign direct investment;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements


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