Influence of National System of Innovation on the Trajectory of Foreign Direct Investment

IERI Working Paper 2008-002
Angathevar Baskaran and Mammo Muchie

The ability to absorb and use effectively FDI flows by countries to enhance their national productive systems is directly related to the degree of functioning of an economy’s national innovation system. We develop a heuristic NSI-FDI framework that proposed three types of NSIs (well functioning/strong, relatively well functioning, and weak) in relation with three types of corresponding FDI outcomes (High-end, Medium or Average, and Low-end). We then selected both large and small developing economies -- China, India, South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia with both different NSIs and FDI flows. The countries were differentiated with respect to core differences in the types of NSIs. Using descriptive data we analysed the nature of FDI flows and their impacts or outcomes in these countries and showed that the characteristics of the NSI in these countries largely shaped the flow and the impact of FDI on these economies.

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