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MGT520 - International Business - Lecture Handout 33

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FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

METHODS OF ACQUISITION:

Companies may accumulate foreign assets through acquisition (buying them) or by building these assets themselves.

Resources for Acquisition:

In order to acquire a foreign asset, firms usually move capital from one country (often the home country) to the country where the newly acquired facility is located (the host country). Sometimes, if the firm already has operations in the host country, it can simply use revenues from host country operations to acquire another facility. In such instances, no international capital movement would occur.

Buy versus Build Decision:

Instead of buying an existing foreign operation, the investing firm might decide to build a new facility from scratch.

Reasons for buying: The investing company might wish to acquire a locally existing name brand, might wish to avoid adding additional capacity to the industry, might wish to avoid having to hire and train new workers. Furthermore, by buying an existing company, the investor avoids inefficiencies during the start-up period and gets an immediate cash flow rather than tying up funds during construction.
Reasons for building: Companies often make investments where there is little or no competition, so finding a firm to buy may be difficult. Furthermore, when acquiring a firm, the investor inherits all the problems that exist in the firm. Finally, a foreign company may find local financing easier to obtain if it builds facilities.

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MGT520 - International Business - Lecture Handout 27

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Economic Rationales for Government Intervention:

Unemployment:

There is probably no more effective pressure group than the unemployed, because no other group has the time and incentive to picket or write letters in volume to government representatives. By limiting imported goods, consumers are forced to consume more goods produced domestically. This helps boost domestic employment. However, placing restrictions on imports normally results in retaliatory tariffs by other countries. In such instances, domestic jobs related to exports may be lost. Even if import restrictions do increase domestic employment, there will still be costs to some people in the domestic society in the form of higher prices or higher taxes.

Infant Industry Argument:

The infant industry argument holds that a government should guarantee an emerging industry a large share of the domestic market until it becomes efficient enough to compete against imports. However, governments have a hard time identifying which industries merit protection. Furthermore, protection for any particular industry means higher costs for local consumers, which can reduce the profitability of other domestic industries.

Read more: MGT520 - International Business - Lecture Handout 27