FDI in the Mediterranean Region: a Comparison with CEE Experience
The research paper was designed to identify the factors that would explain the patterns and the determinants of FDI in the Mediterranean region during 1990-1997. The most important fact characterising this period has been the extension of the Association Agreements to most of the countries belonging to the region. It was thought that these agreements would have given a new boost to foreign direct investments into the region, penalised by the emerging of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe as preferential partners of the EU. According to the empirical analyses, natural resource endowment still represents an important factor of attraction of FDI, relative to Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, foreign investors have been attracted in the MED region by market considerations, concerning not only the single national markets, but also the regional one. This effect is stronger than in Central and Eastern Europe, suggesting that a deeper regional integration may sound attractive to foreign enterprises, mainly if the parent firm is located in the United States. Trade with major investors countries also matters, even though the derived effect appears somewhat smaller than found in Central Europe. This implies that an improvement in trade relationships with the EU – as envisaged by the Association Agreements – would have a positive impact on FDI patterns.
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