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Foreign Investment in Southeast Asia in Historical Perspective

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This paper places today's spectacular boom in foreign investment throughout Southeast Asia in its appropriate historical perspective. It contrasts the most authoritative statistical evidence pertaining to the late 1930s and the late 1980s and identifies features of change and continuity between the late-colonial period and today. It is observed that nationalities of investors and targets of foreign investment have changed dramatically whereas the hierarchy of recipients, the investment climate and the function of foreign investment in the host country economy all display a certain continuity. The salient question is whether the impact of contemporary foreign investment on economic growth in the host country will be more lasting than was the case in colonial days.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: State University of Leiden

Publication date: March 1, 1997

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