Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation in Focus

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The series captures the experience, innovative approaches and solutions for development of the World Bank Group covering financial sector topics of relevance to both the public and private sectors. The series is comprised of short knowledge notes, policy notes, case studies, lessons learned or a combination therein. This series was formerly known as Finance in Focus.

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    Foreign Direct Investment, Backward Linkages, and Productivity Spillovers: What Governments Can Do to Strengthen Linkages and Their Impact
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05-01) Jordaan, Jacob ; Douw, Wim ; Qiang, Christine Zhenwei
    This note provides an up-to-date summary of the academic evidence around the drivers and channels for technology transfer and productivity spillovers by multinational corporations (MNC) operating in host economies. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a major contributor to development. Besides the direct benefits FDI brings in terms of increased capital, employment and exports, the presence and operations of MNCs can also help improve the productivity of local firms through backward linkages and offer an important channel for the integration of local firms into global value chains (GVC). However, several market failures exist that get in the way of these linkages and spillovers fully materializing. This note highlights the main challenges as well as some policy recommendations for host economy Governments to consider.
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    Institutions for Investment: Establishing a High-Performing Institutional Framework for Foreign Direct Investment
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-12-31) Heilbron, Armando ; Whyte, Robert
    A well-functioning institutional framework can result in higher levels of foreign direct investment. It requires several factors such as a shared strategic vision, solid institutions capable of delivering on their specific mandates and collaborating beyond their walls, and a strong political and financial support for all. The note describes key government functions for investment, suggests a process and principles for creating optimal institutional structures to deliver them, and provides examples. In particular, it examines the role of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) the agency usually tasked with operationalizing government FDI goals as well as the dilemmas that governments face in the context of institutional specialization versus function consolidation.