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Emerging Multinationals: A Comparison of Chinese and Indian Outward Foreign Direct Investment


  • Jaya Prakash Pradhan

    () (Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research, India)


The present study deals with the origin and growth of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by emerging Chinese and Indian multinationals and examines the locational determinants of such investments. Both Chinese and Indian OFDI flows were observed to have surged after the adoption of economic openness policies by the home country in the late 1970s and the 1990s respectively and are now increasingly being driven by wholly-owned projects and acquisitions abroad. Indian and Chinese firms both started OFDI operations in developing countries and then they expanded into developed regions in the 1990s. Among locational factors, both Chinese and Indian OFDI projects are attracted by host country imports from the sources, greater strength of host currencies, rising host prices and host status of being offshore financial centres. While the Chinese multinationals were found to have preference for hosts with locational proximity, small size and high natural resource endowments, the Indian firms appear to choose countries with large size and that have bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with India irrespective of their physical distance from India.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaya Prakash Pradhan, 2011. "Emerging Multinationals: A Comparison of Chinese and Indian Outward Foreign Direct Investment," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 3(1), pages 113-148, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:umk:journl:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:113-148

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Maylis Coupet & Thierry Mayer, 2007. "Institutional Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5), pages 764-782, May.
    2. Yin‐Wong Cheung & Jakob de Haan & Xingwang Qian & Shu Yu, 2012. "China's Outward Direct Investment in Africa," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 201-220, May.
    3. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2009. "The Empirics of China's Outward Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2621, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. V N Balasubramanyam & V Mahambare, 2003. "Foreign direct investment in India," Working Papers 539987, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vito Amendolagine & Claudio Cozza & Roberta Rabellotti, 2015. "Chinese and Indian Multinationals: A Firm-Level Analysis of their Investments in Europe," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 452-469, December.
    2. Nunnenkamp, Peter & Sosa Andrés, Maximiliano & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya & Waldkirch, Andreas, 2012. "What drives India's outward FDI?," Kiel Working Papers 1800, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Wladimir Andreff, 2014. "Outward foreign direct investment by Brazilian and Indian multinational companies: comparison with Russian-Chinese multinationals," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01279896, HAL.
    4. Wladimir Andreff, 2016. "Outward Foreign Direct Investment from BRIC countries: Comparing strategies of Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese multinational companies," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01342391, HAL.
    5. Sosa Andrés, Maximiliano & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Busse, Matthias, 2013. "What drives FDI from non-traditional sources? A comparative analysis of the determinants of bilateral FDI flows," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 7, pages 1-53.
    6. repec:hal:journl:halshs-01342391 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Peter Nunnenkamp & Maximiliano Sosa Andrés, 2014. "Ownership Choices of Indian Direct Investors: Do FDI Determinants Differ between Joint Ventures and Wholly Owned Subsidiaries?," South Asian Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance, , vol. 3(1), pages 39-78, June.
    8. Jaya Prakash Pradhan, 2010. "Strategic Asset-Seeking Activities of Emerging Multinationals: Perspectives of Foreign Acquisitions by Indian Pharmaceutical MNEs," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 1(2).
    9. Hermann Sebastian Dehnen & Jan H. van Dinther & Norbert Koubek, 2013. "From emerging economies toward the Emerging Triad," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP13008, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    10. Rania S. Miniesy & Eman Elish, 2016. "Is MENA Different? An Investigation of the Host Country Determinants of Chinese Outward Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers 1024, Economic Research Forum, revised Jul 2016.
    11. Wladimir Andreff, 2015. "Outward Foreign Direct Investment from BRIC countries: Comparing strategies of Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese multinational companies," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 12(2), pages 79-131, December.
    12. De Beule, Filip & Duanmu, Jing-Lin, 2012. "Locational determinants of internationalization: A firm-level analysis of Chinese and Indian acquisitions," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 264-277.

    More about this item


    - emerging multinationals; outward FDI; China; India;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F29 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Other
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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