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International Investment Perspectives 2007

Freedom of Investment in a Changing World

image of International Investment Perspectives 2007
The global environment for foreign direct investment (FDI) improved in 2006 with investment inflows in OECD countries reaching US$ 910 billion – their highest level since the record year 2000. Cross-border mergers and acquisitions – a central component of FDI – continued to grow in 2007 and could be headed for their highest-ever levels. This volume of International Investment Perspectives contains two main analytic sections. The first addresses an apparent growth in discriminatory practices toward cross-border investment in recent years motivated by concerns about national security and related essential concerns. The second main section focuses on the new opportunities arising from FDI and the changing nature of the international economy in which investment takes place.

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The International Investment Dimension of SMEs: a Stocktaking of the Evidence

Globalisation, it is often claimed, is changing the FDI landscape. New technology, more open and transparent investment policies and greater emphasis on markets as a resource allocation device are playing a part in advancing the globalisation of production through international investment. These new developments are a force driving the internationalisation of SMEs. Advances in telecommunication and information technologies, for instance, have made it easier for new and small businesses to establish contact with foreign partners and customers and reduced the importance of economies of scale in many industries (OECD, 2006). Moreover, as large businesses outsource parts of their supply chain in an expanding global economy, opportunities for SMEs to internationalise through direct investment or crossborder co-operation agreements, such as joint ventures, expand.

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