*Economics and International Business Student at Universidad EAFIT, Colombia.
Though sometimes this phenomenon is considered as an opportunity for multinational enterprises to overexploit at a low cost developing countries’ human and physical resources, there is an undeniable great contribution of this process, and it has been the redistribution of value added that had been generated by developed economies for a large number of decades. Despite the fact that an amount of value is allocated within the local economy just by the establishment of an international company in the national territory, it is not enough, and the challenge comes at maximizing the percentage of value kept, taking advantage of the real technological transference and becoming conscious of the exhaustibility of natural resources so new non-extractive economic activities can emerge. By doing this, a tangible opportunity comes for developing countries to join the global production chain and generate value added, that with fair redistributive mechanisms, would have a positive impact on peoples’ welfare.
Taking into account that 60% of global trade consists in the exchange of intermediate goods and services (UNCTAD, 2013), and they are being incorporated everyday, in several parts of the world, into the final service or product, this is a massive opportunity for developing countries to integrate trade benefits into the local economies. There would be not only an increase in the number of people employed, but also, as technological transference occurs, both capital and human resources will have a higher marginal productivity, what would elevate the entire economy’s productivity and will end up in more product per capita.
UNCTAD. (2013). World Investment Report 2013. UNCTAD. United Nations.