A Century of Foreign Investment in the Third World by Michael Twomey

By Michael Twomey

The overdue 20th century has witnessed a dramatic upsurge in international direct funding within the 3rd international. dependent upon thorough statistical research, the booklet offers exhaustive case-studies of international funding coverage in 'metropolitan' nations and of the reviews of 'host' international locations all through Africa, Asia and Latin the US. With a large geographical and historic concentration, it additionally makes a huge contribution to present debates on dependency thought.

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Needless to say, the evaluation of the policies creating these advantages has been a source of debate, then as now. It would appear that France, Belgium, and Japan engaged in this more actively than did Great Britain, the Netherlands, or the United States. Even in the latter cases a disposition towards laissez faire faded as distinctions were made between investors from allied, as opposed to hostile countries; for example, investment from Japan became subject to increased discrimination as that country’s industrial prowess grew.

Indeed, the higher income third world areas receive a disproportionate amount of FDI—over half is in Latin America. To analyse trends, we will use GDP as a scalar. The Table again indicates upward trends in FDI into the Third World, relative to income in either sending or receiving countries, for the last decades of the twentieth century. Thus, the stock of FDI in third world countries represented about 2 per cent of the GDP of the source (developed) countries in 1990, and almost 9 per cent of the GDP of the host (developing) countries—the difference is attributable to the higher aggregate income of the industrial countries.

1 The United Kingdom had provided the largest amounts before World War II, while the United States has been the biggest source of foreign investment (FI) since mid-century. British investments had about the same level in 1938 as they had attained in 1913, although the intervening period saw much destruction and loss during the World War I period, and recovery during the 1920s. France’s overseas investments suffered a steep decline after World War I, due to default in Russia, and to the post-war inflation which affected its unindexed bonds.

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