Export-orientation of Foreign Manufacturing Affiliates in India: Factors, Tendencies and Implications
This paper addresses an important development issue in literature of international production, namely what motivates market‐seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) to undertake export activities. It is well recognized in the concerned literature that export‐oriented FDI is more beneficial for the host country than purely domestic market‐seeking FDI. Hence, many developing countries like India have policy concerns on foreign firms playing a very minimal role in their export activities. Various studies including that of UNCTAD (2003) noted that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian manufacturing has been and remains largely domestic market‐seeking. In view of this low export contribution by foreign firms, existing studies suggest that developing countries like India should improve their locational advantages to attract export‐oriented FDI as opposed to local market‐oriented FDI like quality of available infrastructure, availability of cheap but skilled manpower, expanding the size of export processing zones, participation in bilateral/multilateral trade and investment regimes, etc. However, these studies have not examined those factors that could motivate the existing market‐seeking FDI into export activities. The contribution of the present study is precisely to address this issue and identify factors encouraging market‐seeking FDI to take up export activities. The empirical analysis has been conducted in two stages. In the first stage, we have estimated the export shares and export‐orientation of foreign firms in Indian manufacturing across 17 Indian industries over 1991–2005. In the second stage, we have analyzed the impact of five set of factors—size and growth of host country market, local competition, policy regime, import competition and industry‐characteristics on the export‐orientation of foreign firms in Indian manufacturing. The empirical findings from the panel data analysis of 17 Indian industries over 1991–2005 has thrown up several policy implications important for increasing export‐orientation of foreign firms in a developing country like India.
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