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Foreign Direct Investment in East Asia

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  • THORBECKE, Willem
  • Nimesh SALIKE

Abstract

This paper surveys research on foreign direct investment (FDI) in East Asia. The pattern of FDI in the region has changed over time. Outward FDI from Asia began in earnest when Japanese multinational corporations (MNCs) shifted production to other Asian economies following the 60% appreciation of the yen that started in 1985. The major destinations for Japanese FDI initially were South Korea and Taiwan. However, as labor cost in these economies rose, Japanese FDI shifted to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies. MNCs from South Korea and Taiwan responded to the increase in labor costs by also investing in other Asian economies. Following the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, China became a favored destination for FDI. As Kojima (1973) noted, one of the striking features of East Asian FDI is its complementary relationship with trade. The complementary nature of trade and FDI in Asia is partly due to the rise of regional production networks. Parts and components rather than final products are traded between fragmented production blocks. To understand the slicing up of the value chain, it is helpful to compare the production cost saving arising from fragmentation with the service cost of linking geographically separated production modules (Kimura and Ando, 2005). This has been called "networked FDI" by Baldwin and Okubo (2012). It is a complex form of FDI in which horizontal, vertical, and export platform FDI take place to differing degrees at the same time. The fragmentation strategy adopted especially by Japanese MNCs is to allocate production blocks across countries based on differences in factor endowments and other locational advantages. The paradigm example of this type of production fragmentation is the electronics sector, where parts and components are small and light and can easily be shipped from country to country for processing and assembly. In this sector, the quality of a country's infrastructure plays an important role in its ability to attract FDI.

Suggested Citation

  • THORBECKE, Willem & Nimesh SALIKE, 2013. "Foreign Direct Investment in East Asia," Policy Discussion Papers 13003, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:polidp:13003
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    File URL: https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/pdp/13p003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kimura, Fukunari & Obashi, Ayako, 2011. "Production Networks in East Asia: What We Know So Far," ADBI Working Papers 320, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    2. Richard BALDWIN & OKUBO Toshihiro, 2012. "Networked FDI: Sales and sourcing patterns of Japanese foreign affiliates," Discussion papers 12027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2014. "Networked FDI: Sales and Sourcing Patterns of Japanese Foreign Affiliates," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(8), pages 1051-1080, August.
    4. Kojima, Kiyoshi, 1973. "A Macroeconomic Approach to Foreign Direct Investment," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21, June.
    5. 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, pages 79-103.
    6. John H Dunning, 1988. "The Eclectic Paradigm of International Production: A Restatement and Some Possible Extensions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, pages 1-31.
    7. Hank Lim & Fukunari Kimura, 2009. "The Internationalisation of SMEs in Regional and Global Value Chains," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 47858, Inter-American Development Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacopo Torriti & Eka Ikpe, 2015. "Administrative costs of regulation and foreign direct investment: the Standard Cost Model in non-OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), pages 127-144.
    2. Huang, Yanghua & Salike, Nimesh & Zhong, Feiteng, 2014. "Policy Effect on Structural Change: A Case of Chinese Intermediate Goods Trade," RIEI Working Papers 2014-02, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Research Institute for Economic Integration.
    3. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:30-47 is not listed on IDEAS

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