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Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Trade Agreements; The Market Size Effect Revisited


  • Florence Jaumotte


The paper investigates whether the market size of a regional trade agreement (RTA) is a determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) received by countries participating in the RTA. This hypothesis is tested on a sample of 71 developing countries during the period 1980-99. Evidence is found that the RTA market size had a positive impact on the FDI received by member countries, even more so in the 1990s when such agreements were revived and became more widespread. The size of domestic population also seemed to matter, possibly because of its effect on the availability of the labor supply. It appears, however, that not all countries in the RTA benefited to the same extent from the RTA: countries with a relatively more educated labor force and/or a relatively more stable financial situation tended to attract a larger share of FDI at the expense of their RTA partners. This evidence suggests it is essential for all RTA countries to improve their business environment to the best available in the region. Finally, a partial negative correlation between the FDI received by RTA countries and that received by non-RTA countries possibly reflects a diversion of FDI from non-RTA to RTA countries. As an illustration, FDI benefits are simulated from the creation of a regional trade agreement between Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Suggested Citation

  • Florence Jaumotte, 2004. "Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Trade Agreements; The Market Size Effect Revisited," IMF Working Papers 04/206, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/206

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Puah, Chin-Hong & Kueh, Jerome Swee-Hui & Lau, Evan, 2007. "The Implications Of Emergence Of China Towards Asean-5: Fdi-Gdp Perspective," MPRA Paper 4550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Mondher Cherif & Christian Dreger, 2015. "The Impact of South-South Trade Agreements on FDI," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1461, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Innwon Park & Soonchan Park, 2008. "Reform Creating Regional Trade Agreements And Foreign Direct Investment: Applications For East Asia," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(5), pages 550-566, December.
    4. Li, Qiaomin & Scollay, Robert & Maani, Sholeh, 2016. "Effects on China and ASEAN of the ASEAN-China FTA: The FDI perspective," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-19.
    5. Medvedev, Denis, 2006. "Beyond trade : the impact of preferential trade agreements on foreign direct investment inflows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4065, The World Bank.
    6. Sebastian Krapohl & Katharina L. Meissner & Johannes Muntschick, 2014. "Regional Powers as Leaders or Rambos? The Ambivalent Behaviour of Brazil and South Africa in Regional Economic Integration," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 879-895, July.
    7. International Monetary Fund, 2013. "Uruguay; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 13/109, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Garcia-Herrero, Alicia & Santabarbara, Daniel, 2007. "Does China have an impact on foreign direct investment to Latin America?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 266-286.
    9. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Rey, Serge, 2005. "Régime de change, taux de change réel, flux commerciaux et investissements directs étrangers: le cas du Maroc
      [Real exchange rate, trade flows and foreign direct investments: the Moroccan case]
      ," MPRA Paper 49503, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Paul Missios & Halis Murat Yildiz & Ida Ferrara, 2009. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Choice of Environmental Policy," Working Papers 004, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    11. Mustafa Sakr & Andre Jordaan, 2017. "Push Factors of Emerging Multinational Corporations: Evidence from South Africa and Egypt," Working Papers 201709, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    12. Normaz Ismail, 2009. "The Determinant of Foreign Direct Investment in ASEAN: A Semi-Gravity Approach," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 16(3), pages 710-722, October.
    13. Jose R. Lopez-Calix & Peter Walkenhorst & Ndiame Diop, 2010. "Trade Competitiveness of the Middle East and North Africa : Policies for Export Diversification," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2466, June.
    14. Arno BAECKER, "undated". "The Development of Trade and Foreign Direct Investment under the Influence of the Barcelona Process – An Initial Assessmentt," Middle East and North Africa 330400007, EcoMod.
    15. Halis M. Yildiz, 2013. "Foreign direct investment and customs union: Incentives for multilateral tariff cooperation over free trade," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 298-316, March.
    16. Annageldy Arazmuradov, 2012. "Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment, and Domestic Investment Nexus in Landlocked Economies of Central Asia," Economic Research Guardian, Weissberg Publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 129-151, May.
    17. Thangavelu, Shandre M. & Narjoko, Dionisius, 2014. "Human capital, FTAs and foreign direct investment flows into ASEAN," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 65-76.
    18. Medvedev, Denis, 2012. "Beyond Trade: The Impact of Preferential Trade Agreements on FDI Inflows," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 49-61.
    19. World Bank, 2006. "Is There a New Vision for Maghreb Economic Integation? Volume 2. Annex," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19624, The World Bank.
    20. repec:ksa:szemle:1720 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Heather D. Gibson & Nicholas T. Tsaveas & Thomas Vlassopoulos, 2006. "Capital Flows, Capital Account Liberalisation and the Mediterranean Countries," Working Papers 33, Bank of Greece.
    22. Agustin Carstens, 2004. "Making Regional Economic Integration Work," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 43(4), pages 335-352.

    More about this item


    Economic integration; Algeria; Morocco; Foreign direct investment; Tunisia; Regional trade agreements; Market size; Scale economies; fdi; domestic market; direct investment;

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