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Technological Capability as a Determinant of FDI Inflows - Evidence from Developing Asia & India


  • Amitendu Palit

    (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)

  • Shounkie Nawani


During 2006-07, FDI inflows into India were more than double than those in 2005-06. Indeed, during April-January 2006-07, inward FDI into India at US$16.4 billion, was far higher than the annual average inflow of US$2-3 billion during the late 1990s. In recent years, India has also emerged as one of the leading FDI destinations in Asia. On the whole, the pattern of FDI inflows to developing Asia itself has changed significantly over the years. Some leading Southeast Asian economies (for example, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines) no longer attract as much FDI as they used to in the past. Thisis in sharp contrast to some East and Southeast Asian economies that continue to draw large FDI (for example, China, Hong Kong and Singapore). In the above context, this paper attempts to explain the country-wise variations in the pattern of FDI flows to developing Asian economies by empirically identifying location specific features influencing such flows. The paper argues that some countries in the region, which have developed long term sources of comparative advantages in the form of superior technological capabilities and supporting infrastructure have consistently attracted greater volumes of export-oriented FDI. These attributes are also crucial for explaining the steady improvement in FDI flows to India. The paper finds that with production processes becoming increasingly complex and technology-intensive, developing countries like India, must devote greater attention to the development of R&D and frontier technologies, failing which, they might lose out in the race for FDI.

Suggested Citation

  • Amitendu Palit & Shounkie Nawani, 2007. "Technological Capability as a Determinant of FDI Inflows - Evidence from Developing Asia & India," Finance Working Papers 22236, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:financ:22236

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Urata, Shujiro & Kawai, Hiroki, 2000. "The Determinants of the Location of Foreign Direct Investment by Japanese Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 79-103, September.
    2. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
    3. Robert E. Lipsey, 1999. "The Location and Characteristics of U.S. Affiliates in Asia," NBER Working Papers 6876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rashmi Banga, 2006. "The export-diversifying impact of Japanese and US foreign direct investments in the Indian manufacturing sector," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(4), pages 558-568, July.
    5. Narula, Rajneesh & Wakelin, Katharine, 1998. "Technological competitiveness, trade and foreign direct investment," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 373-387, September.
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    1. repec:spr:manint:v:53:y:2013:i:6:d:10.1007_s11575-013-0178-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    FDI inflows; technology and technological capabilities; locational advantages; IT-based communication facilities;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software


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